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Trailblazer's 1 to X Device Approach

Calibrating device ratio based on instructional need rather than by student


In preparing to transition to blended learning, Trailblazer visited many schools leveraging technology to improve education. When visiting 1:1 schools, they often found that the technology was over-prioritized. While the actual device ratio at Trailblazer is 1.2:1 (incorporating a mix of desktops, laptops, and iPads), the approach they take with devices is called “1 to X,” meaning they allocate devices based on the time a learner needs to be on technology versus time spent in other instructional modalities. Device support is provided by the Library Technology Educator, who also splits time as a blended learning coach.

The 1 to X approach provides three key benefits to Trailblazer:

  • Acting as a forcing mechanism to prevent students from being on devices all at the same time. This allows more time for different types of learning opportunities (collaborative, hands on, etc.).

  • Creating greater device fluency among their students. Students need to learn how to apply technology skills on different devices, as well as choose appropriate devices for certain tasks (e.g. using an iPad for creating video).

  • Cost savings, as there does not have to be a device for every student.