Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Learning and Laptops

We've recently started a new blog titled Learning and Laptops. This is a blog to document our experiences with three laptops classrooms that we have this year as a result of our grant. Each of these classrooms has 36 laptop computers that connect wirelessly (well, most of the time!) to our network and allow these teachers and students to start exploring what high school education can look like when we have full-time access (at least in the classroom) to the technological tools of the 21st century. It's still a somewhat artificial experience, because unfortunately the laptops do stay in the classroom and don't go with the students, but that's the best we can do at the moment. And, while the blog will certainly focus more on the laptop component of these classrooms, the important piece is not the laptops but how they allow us to foster a more constructivist, student-centered approach to learning in the 21st century.

The blog is just getting started, but Anne has a great post talking about how she recently used the laptops to help the students "become one with the text." She posts her thoughts as well as two examples of student work. She's also invited her students to come in and comment and - as of this writing - there are 10 comments on that post that are pretty supportive of what she's done so far.

So far Anne is the only one doing much posting, but I'm hopeful that the other teachers (three others that are in those classrooms most of the time, as well as two additional ones that have a single class in those rooms) start contributing (ahem - that's a not-so-subtle hint to those other teachers). We also have two students (so far) that are in at least two of those laptop classes that will be posting to the blog as well (and, of course, any of the students are welcome to comment). We know that there will be bumps along the road, and that laptops are not the "solution" to everything, but we hope to learn a ton this year about what works and what doesn't - and share it with all of you through the blog.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the idea of having a blog to document what classes are doing with laptop computers. Laptops computers are so new in schools and classrooms that many teachers don't know how to use them effectively. This blog will enable the contributors to not only teach their students but also teach the rest of us how to effectively use laptops. (Even if the blogs don't tell us how to use laptops effectively, they'll most certainly prompt thinking and discussion on the issue.)

    Andrew Pass