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
    Eliada Gudza, 12 Jun 2006 @ 4:28am

    Deploying Laptops in Computer Labs

    I think Motram made some very good points. In the developing world we are not even talking about a laptop for every child for obvious reasons. I am currently involved in a project where we are deploying used donated laptops to 10 secondary schools and the challenges are:
    How do we keep them secure in one place?
    Can laptops be used sustainbly without a mice?
    Is ist even fair to expect each kid to struggle until they get the hang of the touch sensitive pad?
    How about the issue of batteries. How long will they last and whats the best way to prolong their life span given that repalcing them will be costly?
    After all are laptops better than PCs if you are going to keep them in one place?

    Any advise and leassons learnt would be most welcome.

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