Two of the Nation’s Largest Districts Launch 1:1 with Windows Devices

Houston Independent Schools and Miami Dade County Public Schools are among the latest districts to embrace one-to-one computing. Although they’ve made different choices in terms of grade levels targeted, they share two things in common: Windows 8 devices and a multi-year phase-in plan.

Houston ISD

In late January, Houston ISD, the United States’ seventh largest district, began issuing HP Ultrabooks to high school students as part of its PowerUp 1:1 initiative.

The PowerUp rollout was preceded by extensive planning, with an emphasis on phasing the devices in gradually. Upgrades were made last summer to the wireless networks and other technology at the schools selected for phase one deployment. Professional development for teachers also began last summer, with help from North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School District, which has been implementing 1:1 for the past six years.

This semester, more than 18,000 models are being distributed to students and teachers at 11 high schools. Another 18 high schools will join the initiative next year, and the final 16 will be added the following year, bringing the total number of devices in student and teacher hands to approximately 65,000.

Miami Dade

On February 6th, Florida’s Miami Dade County Public Schools followed suit with its own 1:1 deployment. The nation’s fourth largest school district announced that it would be going one-to-one with HP and Lenovo hardware  and Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud-based software..

Following negative press about other high-profile deployments, such as the iPad initiative in Los Angeles, Miami Dade chose to slow down its plans in favor of what district superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho refers to as a “soft launch.” It piloted approximately 10,000 devices prior to this month’s announcement and is now issuing computers to 13,000 elementary grade students, as well as 15,000 middle school students in selected classes – 7th grade civics and 9th grade world history. Additionally, more than 10,000 interactive white boards are being added to classrooms across the district.

By the time all the devices have been deployed in August, 2015, more than 100,000 models will be in the hands of Miami Dade students.

Sources:

Dade County District media advisory

HISD Students PowerUp With New Laptops, YourHoustonNews.com

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