Laptops In Schools, Generally Good, But Still Needs Some Work

from the not-perfect dept

There’s been a ton of coverage about the pilot program in Maine to give every student a laptop. The results there have been overwhelmingly positive – as many critics have changed their minds and now support the program. Now, two more states that are running programs have come out with results, and they sound similar. The biggest issue is training and tech support – but beyond that, the program seems to do wonders. In Pennsylvania there were complaints about malfunctioning equipment, and confusion by some teachers on how to use the computers effectively. However, in Michigan, the early results suggest that the program has been very successful. Students involved in the program have been studying more and coming to class more prepared. The big fear, that students would mistreat, forget or lose their computers has proven to be untrue (as was the case in Maine). One other interesting aspect of the Michigan study is they found that it actually seems to make the kids more excited about learning, to the point where disciplinary action has decreased. It certainly sounds like these programs are a step in the right direction, but more emphasis needs to be placed on better training for the teachers.

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Comments on “Laptops In Schools, Generally Good, But Still Needs Some Work”

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Chris Bailey (user link) says:

The Pro of Laptops in Schools

As a network admin for a reseller, I see alot of good in this program. It is a win/win pretty much. For example, we sell primarily HP/Compaq and IBM product to K-12 clients. We have a great working relationship with the IT staffs of several school districts. We have only seen good come from the kinda of programs.
The schools benefit from having a great ability to teach students in a vast array of new ways. The children are becoming more tech-savvy than their parents and this all happens before the kids reach the fourth grade. On the other side of the table is the resellers providing the product to the schools. We utilize bulk pricing and education pricing to create a per PC cost that is several hundred dollars less than any of our competitors. If you develop a strong relationship with the school and utilize a solid warranty program, the school IT staff are not burdened with the breakdown and repair of these machines. We handle ALL repairs at no cost to the schools and offer next day onsite service. Everybody won, especially the children.
I mainly wanted to highlight this because alot of negative discussion on these programs is aimed at the cost of ownership over time and the excess burden placed on already burdened IT personel. If done properly, the total cost of ownership dops dramatically and the IT staff only have to worry about picking up the phone and saying, “Hey, a machine in classroom 302 has a broken floppy drive door(common on education machines).” After that, a good reseller with a service department can handle the rest.
It all boils down to one thing: If you do your homework on this, you will be amazed at how successful these programs are.”

AMetamorphosis says:

Re: The Pro of Laptops in Schools

I think the plan of having children having their own laptops is an excellent idea.
It teaches responsibility & gives the students a method of learning not only the subject @ hand, but the technology needed in today’s world to survive and be computer literate.

I would imagine the costs are not as prohibitive as initially thought.

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