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.Â 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
- 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