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The One To One Learning Technology For High School Students Debate

The One To One Learning Technology For High School Students Debate

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The 1 to 1 Learning Technology Programs For High School Students Debate
Educators, parents, split on effectiveness of one-to-one learning.

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1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work
By Pamela Livingston

  • The book profiles several states and school districts whose one-to-one initiatives have been branded a success.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, some parents and technology experts are part of a growing opposition to one-to-one programs. The article stated that only a few years ago, these programs were introduced to schools across the county, with encouragement from large computer manufacturers such as Apple and Dell. But now, some parents and educators are having second thoughts over the programs higher than anticipated costs and the potential for students to use the technology inappropriately.

Parent Shawna Adam of Fullerton, Calif., told the newspaper that her sixth grade daughter has only learned to play games and email friends. "School was one big, happy gabfest."

Proponents of 1-to-1 Learning say one-to-one initiatives provide learning in an engaging, relevant context that is essential to preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century. As the costs climb higher, critics say the true expenditure of a comprehensive laptop program is just now becoming obvious. Costs include training staff to creating new curriculum, to installing wireless networks in schools.

The books claims that that it will show readers how they can learn to:

  • Form an effective and inclusive planning committee
  • Choose hardware and software that will integrate with existing systems
  • Select the most cost-effective purchasing, support, and funding options
  • Anticipate and overcome logistical challenges
  • Plan professional development activities that inspire teacher buy-in

1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work
Excerpt

Chapter 3. District-wide and Statewide Programs

"Why take on 1 to 1 computing project? Because it'll help learners get to the thinking faster."

"This chapter profiles laptop programs instituted by Henrico County, Virgina; Maine; and Michigan."

Here is where I have a problem. Virginia, Maine & Michigan is not


All of which have been placed, at one time or anther on a Worst Performing Public School list online. I would like to see how a one-to-one program fares in one of these school districs.

Some parents worry about their children using laptops to spend class time sending instant messages to friends and creating pages on social-networking web sites such as My Space. Others feel such communication tools can be used to the teacher's advantage in the classroom.

In my opinion My Space has no educational value in a classroom. My Space is an genius production of marketing and advertising site targeting customers in a whole new advanced technology based fashion. This is suitable for college students but not for Junior High and High School students who already have enough temptations offline.

One of the districts Pamela Livingston profiles in her book is Henrico County, a pioneer of the one-to-one model and a recipient of both praise and criticism for its efforts.

In the past year, Lisa Marshall, PTA president of Henrico's Tuckahoe Middle School said that 232 Henrico students reportedly have been suspended for violating the school's acceptable use policy. The cases have included using school computers to search for pornography and hijacking wireless internet access from their neighbors at home.

Livingston responded to the wireless tapping by saying, "unfortunately this is widespread and not just an issue for students. Everyone needs to password protect home internet access."

How many parents that do not work in the technology industry know that they need to password protect their computer let alone know how to? It is assumed that the kids who participated in hijacking wireless internet access learned it from someplace, they weren't born with the knowledge and if they didn't learn it in a book (not an ebook), what other source does that leave?

However, I'm sounding very anti computers in public schools and that's not my intention. I do believe whole heartedly that computers and advanced technology is not only an advantage but should be an absolute must be present piece of equipment in all schools. In order for future generations to succeed, students must have the modern tools to succeed. However, the tools are being misused and mismanaged and the tools themselves are being blamed for human negligence.


Restrictions need to be placed on school computers. At several companies, an employee can not log into or receive mail from specific sites exit HSsuch as Hotmail, My Space and any other sites deemed potentialy dangerous or inappropriate material. At libraries, a user can not open attachments or print pages without logging in. These are simple Network Administration rules that can and should be utilized in schools. However, the problems arise when adults / teachers may want to use the functions for legitimate reasons. This is where school administrators need to place the equally unfair to all rule.

If we want to give our children the best education available, than we also need to take the responsibility that goes with it and not blame the machines or other people, especially teachers. Teachers use the tools we provide them but they can not watch the screens of 26 + students every online minute.

In response to critics against the 1 to 1 Learning Technology programs, Pamela Livingston has been quoted as saying:

"There is evidence of the success of one-to-one programs; in some cases, testing has improved, but in nearly every school attendance has improved," says Livingston. "This speaks to a vital factor - motivation. If children are more motivated to show up for school, they will be there to do the work, study, learn, and not fall behind."

If free computer use is available I have no doubt that attendance has improved... isn't that why at least 30% of us show up to work? So we don't have to go to public libraries and Kinko's and pay the outrageous $1 per minute fee?

A favorite bumper sticker: If you can read this thank a teacher. More information on teaching careers is located here. Teaching Careers»»

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