This week's topic for class is the idea of giving each student their own personal laptop to use. Damian Bebell discusses the research done at an elementary school where they compared rooms with 1:1 laptop use to rooms with shared chart laptops. I found a few of their findings interesting. Bebell said that the use of the computer at home increased, which doesn't surprise me, due to the fact that if students are more comfortable with a computer they will use the computer more, however I was surprised to hear that students used their computer more for school-related tasks. In fact that was where the biggest raise in usage was. That really got my attention. I am for anything that would increase students doing school work at home. There was not as much of an increase in the engagement numbers. I knew students would be more engaged when using their own computer, but I thought the numbers would be higher. I see much higher engagement in my classroom when we do activities on the computer versus other activities. One interesting comment about Special Education students was from a teacher who was part of the experiment; she said that Special Ed students were more on the same playing field. I see that quite a bit in my collaborative period. I teach one period each semester with a special education teacher. We co-teach so that we can offer the class to a wider variety of students. I really do encourage all students to take computer classes in high school, and all students can do it.
In the 1:1 Stories Project blog, it talks about the digital natives and their need to e-learn with a computer, and that hands on learning helps them take more ownership in their learning. I agree with the blog that students need to see the real life application of knowledge so that they feel more engaged in their learning, which a computer can provide. No matter what career most students go into, they will need computer skills or have to do their entire job on a computer. It is important for students and adults to keep learning new skills all their lives. Computers are one big way that is going to happen. We need to keep finding ways to let this happen in all types of classrooms.
In class we discussed the $100 laptop project. I wanted to know more, so I looked it up and found this site that describes what it is all about. http://www.g1on1.org/