Weighing The Costs And Benefits Of Laptops In Schools

from the sounds-good-in-theory... dept

Having just posted (and disputed) a study saying that internet access may be harmful to teens, Salon is running an article looking at the book Never Mind the Laptops, which apparently makes a very strong case for why every student should have a laptop in school. The book is apparently quite well written and goes through a ton of historical information (on both sides of the debate) and explains why putting laptops in the hands of all kids is the best thing we could do for the education system. However, the Salon piece makes a very interesting juxtaposition with the book, as the writer, Andrew Leonard, thinks about how his own children's schools are struggling to not lay off teachers, and wonders how they could ever possibly afford to give a laptop to every student. It's yet another situation where the idea sounds good, and probably is a good idea for the kids - but has too high an upfront price for it ever to get approved. It's really too bad, as the case studies we wrote about the experiment in Maine to give every kid a laptop, suggest that the program was doing wonders for students.
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  1. identicon
    Beck, 1 Oct 2003 @ 12:10pm

    Basic Skills, New Technology

    When I was in elementary school they taught us how to do research using the card catalog and the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. In junior high school we took typing classes to learn how to type. That way we would know how to use a typewriter to do our high school papers.

    Why shouldn't kids today learn how to do research using the technology that is available to them? Why shouldn't they learn to use computers just for the sake of knowing how to use them? They need to learn to use the tools that they will continue to use in higher education? That's exactly what we did, we just didn't use computers.

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