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History of the 1:1

I see [a 1:1 learning initiative] as necessary. Our students will need it for economic and personal survival in the future. The importance of its use cannot be overstated. – Upper School Faculty Member

The Promise of a 1:1 Learning Environment

Throughout the school's long history, Montclair Kimberley Academy has been committed to preparing students for academic excellence, full, active citizenship, and inspired leadership. To that end, Signature Programs in Ethics, Core Works, and Writing (all instituted more than ten years ago), provide MKA students with a common moral compass, a rich cultural language, and essential skills for success. To continue this mission in an era of unprecedented change, MKA is committed to equipping its students with the technological fluency and digital citizenship necessary to sustain learning, fostering leadership, and ensuring success.

MKA has created a 1:1 learning environment where:

  • Teachers, through their own Professional Growth Process, assume responsibility for providing students with appropriate opportunities to use technology as a powerful learning tool.
  • Students assume responsibility for utilizing a powerful active learning tool to best enhance their own learning.
  • Students have equal access to a common technological platform, promoting the development of collaboration skills in the classroom and beyond.
  • Students interact with a greater body of knowledge than ever before.
  • Students harness, discern, and take charge of the information available to them.
  • Students learn adaptive skills to solve new problems and address new learning needs.

History of the Program

In November of 2007, all faculty at MKA were issued laptops to use as professional tools for teaching and learning. The initiative, supported by ongoing, research-based professional development, has been successful in encouraging the innovative and powerfully effective use of technology as a teaching and learning tool. Embedded in all grade levels and departments, professional development offers opportunities for faculty to explore and refine their use of technology both throughout the school year and during the summer. A highlight is MKA’s annual, week-long Technology Institute which allows teachers time to collaborate with colleagues, explore innovative uses of technology, and create classroom-ready products. An example of a learning tool that has become ubiquitous at the school is the Evernote application, first demonstrated at Tech Institute, and subsequently installed on every MKA laptop.

In September 2010, MKA launched a 1:1 Student Learning Initiative in grades 4-12.

Research has shown that use of laptops:

  • increases access to a variety of up-to-date information sources and helps to optimize “teachable moments”
  • facilitates project-based learning
  • makes student learning more individualized
  • increases student motivation and engagement in learning
  • assists student organization and improves the quality of student work

The 1:1 Initiative provides all MKA students and faculty with equal and ubiquitous access to an Apple device with identical hardware and software (except for the grading and reporting software on faculty computers). Standardization of hardware and software allows teachers and students to benefit from a greater level of support and training. In addition, working with the same technology allows teachers to greatly enhanced options for instructional planning and for flexible, "in the moment" use of laptops in class.