From the Field
“Decisions about student device selection should stem first from the academic learning goals and include considerations related to educator effectiveness, budget and technology support. It is not about the device, it is about how the device will support the learning.”
– Alex Macdonald, Idaho Department of Education
Choosing the correct device is critical to the success of a digital learning environment. As with any planning process, it is crucial to understand the baseline implementation before preparing effectively for the future, and this is especially true with comprehensive education planning that includes digital devices. During the planning process, districts typically look at the demographics, achievement and technology skills of the students and teachers, the teachers’ professional learning history and their general comfort with using technology to meet individual needs. Clearly defined district needs from the planning process can help to identify the best devices to access the content and applications required to meet program goals. A district may be focusing on a variety of needs ranging from increasing student achievement to decreasing discipline issues to shifting learning to a project-based approach and each of these areas may impact device-purchasing decisions.