I am meeting today with my principal to discuss the possibility of running a pilot laptop program in my grade 5 class for next year. We would be looking at having a laptop for every 2 students.
I would like to suggest some uses and ways that I can integrate and make the most of the technology should it go ahead.
My initial thoughts include using wikis to collaborate on some tasks, to present inquiry unit project findings and to complete literature cirlces journals. I would also like to make use of google docs or some similar tool to run writer's workshop. I have thought about the possibility of developing e-portfolios as opposed to hard copy portfolios.
Aside from these ideas, does anyone else have any ideas that could or have worked in your classroom, that would be worth presenting to the boss. Keep in mind these are grade 5 students and i would only have one laptop for 2 students.
Cheers

Tags: 2.0, ICT, integration, laptop, pilot, web2.0

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Good luck! I have been an eMINTS teacher for five years. We have one desktop for every two students in class. I have us signed up for Google Apps, but we haven't used Google Docs yet. I think it will be great for collaboration. I have used wikis in the classroom, but they are not the easiest thing to work with.

My class blog may give you some ideas. Also, my homeroom students now have their own blog and we are starting to work on them. This is very exciting to me. I also have a small group after school doing a reading circle and blogging about what they read.

You will probably want to try some webquests. These are student focused online learning activities that are done in small groups.

Another thing you might think about is allowing students to create their own audio using the laptops. They could answer questions orally, read their own stories, or even read texts and record them. This helps with fluency. You could even post their own work online. If you get laptops with built in cameras they can create their own videos which can be posted as well.

Here are a couple things you may want to consider. When one student is on the computer, their partner typically will be watching the computer and not working on other work they may need to complete. Having the students separate works better when they are doing individual work.

Take it slowly. Choose one thing at a time to work on. I tend to try to do to much in too little time. Chances are your students will not have much experience on computers and what they do have will be either games or educational activities. These activities will not transfer to what you want to do in class. Finally, it will always take more time than you think for them to learn how to do simple things. You just have to understand that using a computers is just like learning a foreign language.

You can contact me if you want to pick my brain.
Thanks WM. You have given me some good ideas here. I will keep them in mind.

After speaking with the principal it looks like I may be getting 8-10 desktops in my room that I can make use of. Hopefully I'll have a small class so that there will still be around 1 computer for 2 students. At least this is a starting point.

Cheers
You might check out http://trc.altec.org/ . Technology Rich Classroom programs are geared towards 4th & 5th grade classes, with a 2:1 laptop ratio. I visited a classroom last year that had this program and the main thing I noticed was just how involved the students were in their learning. The day I visited there were 25 adults wandering about the room, it was snowing, and the students were totally engaged in their learning. Things the students were engaged in involved sharing a student created video on the Oregon Trail (students had dressed up and were telling about their "trip" as if they had actually been on the trail), some were doing webquests, some were using an airliner, some were researching mealworms as they watched live ones hatching. It has been a year since I visited so my memory is foggy, but these are some of the activities that stood out. Other ideas that come to mind: you can have a digital camera and students journal their week both visually and in writing, they can create PhotoStory projects. You can set them up with Gaggle or Epals e-mail accounts and they can connect with experts on whatever topic they are studying. Good luck!!!
Thanks Michal. I appreciate your input. I'll take a look at the TRC program - it sounds ideal.

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