1:1 Programs and Expectations

Mr. Guhlin asked “How have laptop programs helped?” and the responses depressed me.

Maybe, I’m over analyzing but quote like “Imagine anything one could do on an overhead projector. You can do the same on a tablet if you have an LCD.” brought me close to tears. Clearly, replacing an overhead and pen with several thousands of dollars worth of equipment to do “the same” is not a cost efficient trade.

Other quotes that made me wince:

  • my laptop/tablet has replaced a paper notebook during meetings.
  • Have students do grammar exercises. Math teachers do the same.

Not exactly what you’d want to hear if you’re paying for those laptops. Now, I also realize these are quick reports but I don’t see anything in there about students doing anything they couldn’t do with paper for far less money.  The whole point of a 1:1 is to get students producing with laptops and to have no comment on that worries me.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m for 1:1 initiatives and that’s why I’m concerned. I work in a district going on the 6th year of a 1:1 initiative and I worry that some teachers might give similar “proof” that our program is working.

So here’s how our 1:1 has helped students in our school-

  • everyone now has a computer no matter their economic circumstances
  • students have the ability to create all kinds of digital media to express themselves and their ideas
    • music
    • webpages
    • graphics
  • students have the chance to work on this media outside of school hours (that’s key for me- the school day just isn’t enough time)
  • students are learning (sometimes the hard way) how to be responsible for both their digital actions and their computers
  • students are taking part in as well as learning from the participatory web

Comments on this post

  1. Tom Woodward said on January 24, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Some how I lost a great comment on this post (probably through stupidity) although I’m not sure how. If the author happens to come by please leave your site link. As I was headed to check that out.

  2. Guy Ames said on February 21, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    There’s more to learning than the digital vs. paper question. I agree – the students will learn how to take care of their equipment, and also interactions with each other or others virtually (internet/intranet learning). But then there’s also the development of the human race that is happening as a result of computers. I love all the questions raised about privacy and property. I love that the world has gotten so small. Now that it’s so easy to do audio and video there will be even more change – and faster. I have a suspicion that using computers is actually helping us develop new parts of the brain – parts that will involve more intuition, inner-seeing, and ?

  3. Bendz said on February 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    its good to know there are teachers who are now open to modern technology despite them being used to the old paper and pen thing

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