Friday, March 5, 2004

Laptops In Schools, Generally Good, But Still Needs Some Work

Now this is cool.  I hope it catches on.  I also noticed that all the schools in my area have Wi-Fi access.  You can surf but you can’t run IM, go figure J.

I can only imagine what the world would have been like if I had a laptop in school….<insert evil cackle of joy here>



There's been a ton of coverage about the pilot program in Maine to give every student a laptop. The results there have been overwhelmingly positive - as many critics have changed their minds and now support the program. Now, two more states that are running programs have come out with results, and they sound similar. The biggest issue is training and tech support - but beyond that, the program seems to do wonders. In Pennsylvania there were complaints about malfunctioning equipment, and confusion by some teachers on how to use the computers effectively. However, in Michigan, the early results suggest that the program has been very successful. Students involved in the program have been studying more and coming to class more prepared. The big fear, that students would mistreat, forget or lose their computers has proven to be untrue (as was the case in Maine). One other interesting aspect of the Michigan study is they found that it actually seems to make the kids more excited about learning, to the point where disciplinary action has decreased. It certainly sounds like these programs are a step in the right direction, but more emphasis needs to be placed on better training for the teachers.


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