During some recent conversations, it was mentioned that it would not be too long before students started bringing in laptops from home. What are your thoughts on letting students bring in thier own laptops, and putting them on the school wireless / wired network? I personally believe that if students need to have laptops during the school day, at school, that the school should provide them! I believe that allow those that can afford laptops to bring them in and use them during the school day, gives them an unfair advantage to those that can't. While there is not much we can do about what they have available at home, I do think we have an obligation to keep things as fair as possible at school. Grants and scholarships are awarded based on how well students do, and allowing those that can afford laptops, gives them an unfair advantage over those that can not. Also I see the wealthier students "picking" on the poorer students, who either can't afford a laptop, or that might bring in an older laptop ( kind of like the newer cell phones, to bag phones). I believe that if we want or need students to have laptops (or actually anything expensive) that the school should provide it! We don't make students purchase the books they are required to use in class, nor the tools they have to use in shop class, why should we require them to have to purchase thier own laptop! Or worse yet, go without, while those that can afford one, are allowed to bring them in.
Not to mention the headache that they would cause from a management stand point. These are my thoughts, am I wrong? What are your thoughts?

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I think you have a new generation of younger more web-oriented teachers joining the work force and as a result you're going to see technology taken advantage of more and more often.

Today's beginning teacher grew up on the computer much like today's high school student.
I think a major contributing factor in this, is that the universities are not teaching the teachers how to teach using technology (although it does seem to be getting a little better). But until the schools that teach the teachers use and teach how to use the technology in for teaching, it will continue to be slow moving forward.
An interesting discussion. I would like to introduce another aspect, and that is meeting the needs and expectations of students. I recently have been asking students what they want and they consistently tell me they do not want to carry laptops back and forth to school. They want to be able to use laptops when they are at school but much prefer to access material via the LMS or Web 2.0 from home. So, to address the problem of the digital divide, we are looking at ways of providing access for students who do not have it at home. We have been looking at providing UMPC's (netbooks) for students and are using a LMS that syncs with mobile phones. I know students want and expect anywhere, anytime access, but that does not necessarily mean laptops. From a management point of view, it would be nice to have 'one' solution, but that seems to be taking an old approach (eg everyone use this textbook, everyone use this laptop).

A very expensive proposition if the kids vote with their feet and leave their laptops in their lockers!
Maybe have one to one computers is main subject areas, Engish, Math, Science and History and have a lab or two for other areas? Maybe terminals with terminal servers, to keep power consumption low, lower costs, etc?

Maybe something like a webtv type device or terminal, maybe contained in a keyboard, with a touchpad? That connects directly to the school, and uses thier internet connection? Maybe it connects to the terminal server at the school? And then maybe, most everything might e-rate able?

U.S. Schools buy a lot of computers and other technology equipment, but we usually end up buying what companies want to sell us. If many school districts were to get together, I think we could actually come up with a solution that would work for us (much like the OLPC project).
Your students don't want to carry laptops? They would rather schlep forty pounds of books and kill trees while in school than k.i.s.s. and simply use a laptop. My kids wouldn't go back to paper, pencils and redrafting by hand. Would you? Tell 'em to try it, they'll like it.
You have read something into my response that wasn't there. Our students have not gone back to paper and pencils or dredrafting by hand. They do not carry heavy textbooks as their work is online. They all carry 'devices', just not laptops. They access work digitally, submit work online, use a range of devices whilst they are at school. The point I was trying to make was that laptops are not the only devices available to provide the access and tools that 21st century learners need.
I used to carry a laptop everyday but now I have a phone and 'netbook' that I can use to access my documents, create work, etc. I take my laptop when I need it.
I have two children in college and neither of them is encouraged to bring a laptop to class. My son was told by his history professor NOT to bring it because she didn't think he was really taking notes. Not only was he taking notes, but he was also checking the information she was referencing because he had not been a dedicated high school student and needed the background to better understand her lectures. He showed her all of this and she grudgingly gave in, but said she didn't want him to set a precedence.
I teach in a one-on-one middle school and can not imagine what the heck is going on. When I taught at Dartmouth in1985 to 1990, the students were required to obtain computers and, therefore, could put them on their loans if money was a problem. That was more than 20 years ago and there are still good colleges not encouraging computers in their classes?

I bought a laptop for my 10 year old son who is entering fifth grade. He has learning challenges that a computer helps to lessen. I told the principal that my son would be using a laptop and she agreed it would be helpful, but wished other children could obtain them since her school does not have the funding for anything more than a computer lab. Good thing we didn't have a pencil lab when I was a kid or no one would be writing or doing math!
BTW-
The laptop I bought my little guy cost $225.00 on clearance. It is only an Acer, but certainly good enough for his needs.
My college professors didn't care if I was taking notes or not. I was an adult and I was expected to care about my learning by that point. If I wasn't taking notes that was my problem come exam time.
I think the problem goes beyond colleges encouraging their student to bring laptops to class and use them. They need to teach the future teachers how to actually use them in a teaching environment (or how they can be used). That is where almost all the colleges are falling short. Just because you use a computer while going to school, does not mean that you will know how to use them in a teaching environment (granted it helps).
IMHO, I think adults (including many teachers) grossly over estimate teens technology skills. Yes---kids can text, IM, chat, d/l songs, take pics with their phones, yippee.

Sure some kids are "computer guys" but assuming today's teens are tech literate is an overstatement.
Very true! While a lot of the times they know more than their parents or teachers (no disrespect intended), that's not always very much. Much like a bank teller, who uses a computer all day long, doesn't nescessarily mean they actually know how to do much in anything outside the program that they use at work. I think most kids are a little better, just because they act like they know what they are doing (they don't hesitate and think too long, they just point and click*S*).
I do think kids (I teach K-6 gifted) are much bigger tech risk takers than most parents and teachers and they have a feel for technology that most adults don't have. I read in one of Dan Tapscott's books "technology is not technology unless it was invented after you were born". Stay with me here....

I heard yesterday that the Olympic sychronized divers start training at age 4 before they develop a fear of heights---that reminded me of kids and technology. All this stuff has been around since before our students were born, they have no fear but it doesn't mean they know how to do complexed and indepth things with computers.

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