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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Laptops on Their Way Out At Some Schools

This was a front page article in the NY Times this week about the use of laptops in school. I'm not really surprised. I think teachers either have too much on their plates to try to organize curriculum around using the Internet and kids can be very careless and/or more interested in fooling around on the computer rather than working. One student says it helps him take notes more quickly (his typing skills have improved) but that it didn't help him become a better student. I remember doing tours at Whittier years back and parents always said, "Do you have computers?" not realizing that (a) even if you do, most teachers are not going to rely on it and (2) the whole issue of maintenance and networking is a problem at many schools. (The article talks about the network going down at one school when they all get on-line at the same time.)

4 comments:

Jet City mom said...

I love computers and what you can do with them.

However- I also believe that we spend too much time worrying about updating technology in K-12.( particulary K-8)

My oldest did take a laptop to high school. She has a learning disability, and it helped her concentrate and take better notes- instead of drawing on her paper ( and herself).

However- she also attended a private school, with small classes and was confident enough that she didn't mind sticking out a bit. ( the next year ,laptops were required for high school freshmen)

My younger daughter, has small motor issues as well, but although she could have used a keyboard in school, it made her too self concious, although she does use one at home.

At her current public school, while I appreciate that some teachers post notes and other references online, I think computers can be relied on too much, we don't have a fast internet connection, so can't download large files and we also don't have Windows so many files aren't formatted correctly when we do down load them.

But thats just logistics-and can be dealt with using NeoOffice and other free software to get around using Office

http://www.apple.com/education/k12/onetoone/news.html

Anonymous said...

So, your point is? Pencil and paper is a challenging innovation for teachers/schools, hence we should go back to slate and chalk?

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, my point was just to post this to let people know what is going on in terms of technology in other parts of the country.

Anonymous said...

We are sending our son to Kellogg M.S. in Shoreline, where all students get an ibook laptop in 7th and 8th grade. Kellogg won a prestigeous technology award two years ago, for succesfully integrating technology into their curriculum. TThey use their laptop for EVERYTHING. All homework assignments, day planner, report cards, tests, note taking, etc.

I am a bit apprehensive, and have my concerns, probably based on my own fears that the technology will surpass my own abilities (how will I help my child). But I am also excited to see the possibilities. We'll see.....