Is a laptop (program) “essential”?
First, that is an argument that could be leveled at any of our instructional/learning tools.
- Is a whiteboard or chalkboard essential?
- How about microscopes? (Couldn’t I just show pictures of slides?)
- Graphing calculators? (We didn’t have those when I was learning math…)
- PE equipment? (Can’t they get enough physical fitness in through running and calisthenics?)
- Harkness tables?
Really, aren’t the only two elements essential in any learning situation a student and a teacher. And the teacher doesn’t even have to be a certified, educated human.
Perhaps, then, the question would be better asked: Is a laptop (or a 1:1 laptop program) essential to improve the learning environment? Not the college entrance rates or test scores or GPAs. Student learning.
Yes. And here are ten reasons why they will.
- Allows for student autonomy and ownership of their learning
- Provides convenience and ready access to resources
- Creates a more efficient means of communication and assessment
- Enhances personal interaction between the student and instructor and among students
- Encourages more student-centered learning, rather than teacher-focused instruction
- Allows for increased mobility
- Expands learning beyond the classroom walls
- Unifies classroom technology by creating consistency of platforms and programs
- Creates opportunity to teach all forms of responsible and ethical use of technology
- Enables differentiation to meet the needs of all learners
Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to write about each of these reasons individually. I’ll try to explain what I mean, what I’ve been seeing, and what examples exist. More importantly, I invite you to join in on the conversation. Each post will have a comments section, and I would encourage you to share your thoughts on each particular reason as well.