What does 1-1 look like?
May 5, 2008 § 1 Comment
Tim had an interesting post, which sparked some brain activity. I actually sort of started this post in the comment section of his post, but I thought I’d pose it here too.
Does 1-1 really mean every child has a laptop in front of them, or should we, as schools, be looking at a different type of 1-1 computing?
With computing devices coming in all shapes and sizes these days, and the ed tech community at large talking about how we can use these devices with students, why is it that tech directors are still fixed on 1-1 computing looking like this?
Maybe instead of being fearful of the major outlay of funds required for purchasing and upkeep of laptops, we should be exploring other options. Yes, the laptop can provide many different uses in one package, but how many of those uses could be accomplished with other technology?
Alphasmarts or Palms for word processing, Palms, iPods, or a cell phone call to GCast for voice recording, Palms or probeware for in the field testing, cell phones or wireless Palms for a quick google…the options are our there, and much less expensive than a laptop.
I guess what you really need to look at is what the laptops would be used for. If the main focus of a 1-1 program is getting students to use the technology outside of class using those laptops at home for research and production, then maybe laptops are the way to go. If the crux is to get a computing device in the hands of every student during the course of the school day, then there certainly are other ways to do that.
At the end of the day, when it comes down to dollars and cents, I’d be willing to bet we’d be a lot more successful (and not have to worry about battery power as much – the original point of Tim’s post) using a variety of smaller devices than trying to deal with the distribution and upkeep of thousands of laptops.