Monday, August 20, 2007

One Computer for Every Student - Experience

My only direct experience that is close to one-to-one computer use in the classroom is when I have brought the laptop cart into the classroom (4th grade). I would have to say there is a completely different feel in the classroom. Students stay very focused on what they are doing. Student interaction among students pertains to what they are doing. There is something even more “special” about us using them because not many classroom teachers use the laptops though that is changing. More teachers are getting out of the comfortable box and using them. A part of using the laptops is going over how to handle the computers from carrying them safely, to not touching the LCD screens. I will say that there are 2 factors to consider with 1-to-1 use if the computers are laptops. The first factor is power. Batteries only last so long without a charge. Either there would be a time limit on use, or the room could be set up to accommodate power strips. The other concern is the time involved in getting the computers set up and starting them up/shutting down. A one hour session often does not produce one hour of use. The goal of one-to-one is a lofty goal, but is one which may not come to fruition in many schools for some time to come.

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