*To start the year I have a guest post all about 1:1 in the Math Classroom. Enjoy!*

Perhaps
the single subject area that stands to gain the most from the introduction of a
1:1 technology program is math. Math
classrooms with 1:1 technology can greatly expand the differentiation of
content provided to students, can prevent student misconceptions from
developing, and can free the teacher to focus on teaching and planning rather
than grading. Let’s look at each of
these benefits in further detail.

**Expanded Content Differentiation**

Students in a math classroom without access to 1:1 technology
typically follow a textbook in lockstep fashion. With only the teacher as a source of
information, pacing and content for all students must be kept identical. 1:1 technology allows each student to have,
in essence, his own personal teacher.
Through the use of video, a math instructor can record all of her
lessons (or utilize videos created by outside sources), allowing students to
work through material at their own pace.
Similarly, practice problems no longer need to be limited to those found
in a textbook; instead, a teacher can utilize online texts and resources that
provide problems of varying difficulty and which adapt to students’ previous
answers, becoming harder or easier when needed.

A lot of conversation has centered around the idea of
“flipping” classroom instruction, allowing students to watch a video lecture as
homework so that class time can be devoted to discussion or application of the
content being presented. 1:1 technology
can certainly permit this, but it can also take it a step further, allowing for
classrooms to not only be flipped but also individualized.

**Preventing Student Misconceptions**

When students complete practice problems in a typical non-1:1
classroom, they often are asked to complete a large number of problems before
receiving feedback on whether or not their work is correct. This is incredibly harmful, as students who
are doing something incorrectly on a paper/pencil assignment will repeat that
error multiple times and get it ingrained in their mind before it can be
corrected. 1:1 technology prevents such
misconceptions from taking hold by providing students with immediate feedback
after each problem is completed. Many
online programs don’t just provide a correct answer (even a textbook can do
that), but also provide students with a written and/or video explanation of how
to solve the problem at hand. This is
incredibly valuable not only in preventing misconceptions from developing but
also in allowing students to take ownership of their own learning.

**Freeing the Teacher**

As 1:1 technology provides students with instant feedback on
the various practice problems they complete, another huge benefit emerges: the
teacher is freed from the crushing, constant burden of assessing student
work! Suddenly freed from this
overwhelming task (my own math students, from all classes combined, can easily
complete thousands of problems each day), the teacher is now able to focus on
planning and teaching more effectively.
Videos can be created and plans can be individualized in the time no
longer spent grading student work.
Teachers will still be familiar with their students’ work, of course,
because the online tools described above are able to provide the teacher with a
detailed summary of how their students performed on their online practice
problems.

For any district looking for a place where 1:1 technology
will be instantly valued and appreciated, math classrooms might be the best
place to start.

**About the author:**

Mark Pullen, 1:1 classroom teacher, on behalf of Worth Ave.
Group. Worth Ave Group provides laptop, tablet
computer, and iPad insurance to
schools and universities. They have been insuring schools since 1971. http://www.worthavegroup.com/education