Friday, February 06, 2009

It's gonna happen...

A reader writes:

Students constantly ask me if we are going to be in the computer lab. The change I see in the students from Thursday to Friday is huge... I would love to be a paperless classroom. Less to carry home, less to get lost, less for students worry about getting turned in. Plus it's great for the environment. My only question is how do I pull in enough laptops, Palms, iPod Touches to make this work? Grant funding is great but hard to secure. How did you make this happen in your classroom?

You can't do this on your own. Trust me.

But you can't run a school on your own either. The key is to have the full support of your administration. In my school, I was fortunate in that the initial move towards technology was something that the administration was going to do anyway. So under the guidance of our principal we became a one-to-one computing school. The trick for us teachers was what to do next.

That said, it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that one-to-one computing is going to become the standard in education. PDA programs have been going on since the late 90's, and if I had to make one prediction, it would be that PCs are going to become both faster and cheaper in the coming days. And it will not be long before the state and local systems, in some fashion or another, are supplying some sort of handheld or laptop device to all matriculated students. It might sound absolutely crazy now, but it will happen.


  1. Old computers are easier to find-we often get the old models from other schools when they update. This is better then nothing, and using Google to store work allows us to stretch the small memory of the old computers. We don't have all the latest software, but if we have an internet connection we can still do a lot.

    And I really love that now I just carry a small bag to and from school-no papers, no journals! I do all my grading on my laptop, sitting on my couch:)

    Richard-I agree that one day all schools will have one-to-one computers, but right now that is absolutely not the case in many schools. Most of my students do not have computers at home. I would love to see on this blog some ideas about how technology and paperless classrooms can bridge the economic gap in schools. Students in poverty are even further behind because they do not have the technological skills that is the norm in other communities. Google apps are free. What else is out there?

  2. I come from an extremely poor school district and the technology is a struggle. My students can not afford to eat much less have computer access at home. Our school has a few labs available at hours athletes can not make, and any classroom computers are out dated and horrible. I recently helped with a grant that made a dent and I plan to keep plugging away little by little. The problem I am facing now is the technology is advancing faster that I can raise funds. When I finally achieve a class set of laptops they are out dated. Never give up!


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