How does moving to a pedagogically appropriate Web 2.0 learning environment affect how a 1:1 and/or laptop program is implemented? There are 3 possible scenarios with laptops:
- A controlled environment where the school purchases the laptops and maintains administrative control.
- A more open environment environment where the school owns (or purchases for the students) but gives the students administrative rights.
- A student-purchased environment where administrative rights are always with the student.
What are you doing in your school? What are your feelings about this??
Here are excerpts from the excellent responses I received:
Madeleine Brookes, ICT facilitator from Western Academy Beijing (WAB):
"Certainly option 2 and 3 would be the better option for your students - the line between using the computer for social purposes and for educational purposes is becoming blurred however I believe that educating the students in what not to download and how to use a computer responsibly is better than locking it down."
Harry Bennett, Technology consultant for international schools helping set up 1:1 programs
"The trick is to create an environment that allows your users to do all the things they should be able to do (which probably shouldn't include installing programs that haven't been tested by the experts you hired) as part of the learning process but not able to do the things that will diminish that capability for themselves or others. That is a tricky task but throwing out security because its hard to do right is as wrong as locking down a machine so that no one can do anything."
Kathy Epps from International School of Geneva
"The kids, teachers, and families are given many many opportunities to learn how to take care of their computers - how to use the admin rights, in effect. Teachers are given nearly limitless support, coaching, etc., to help them make efective use of the computers in the classroom, so that every one is supportive, enthusiastic, and learning and teaching is enhanced - not just more entertaining. (Julie, I have no doubts about what you would do in this situation!)"
Ben Morgan, Director of IT from United World College of SE Asia
"I think that tying students to a single laptop is already technologically and culturally outdated. The question, to me, is how to best provide access to the necessary data/tools via WHATEVER hardware the students may use.
This requires school to create:
- an online learning environment that provides tools for creating / delivering / managing instructional content (this will be an amalgamation of web based portal, elearning system, web 2 tools, MIS system, library system, etc)
- online data storage
- access to specialist software
- through a robust wired/wireless infrastructure that supports a multitude of devices"
My response today in reply was as a summary of essential points with an invitation for more discussion.
Her is a brief summary of the main points you have shared:
- Laptop model and make - most in favour of the same
- Image - standardized that includes licensed software and anti-virus
- Collaborative environment - need to be able to foster this within a secure environment
- System security - learning affected if system infected
- Student purchase scheme (lease over 3 years as an option)
- Administrative rights given to teachers/students under certain conditions - security, maintain original software
- Tech support - needs to be a drop-in service
- Systematic approach to laptop service - re-image if issue too time consuming to fix
- Infrastructure - providing re-charging stations
- Storage and backup of files - locally? USB? Server?
- Computer failure - 3-year insurance/warranty, replacement policy
- Professional development and pedagogical support for teachers, students and parents
- Wireless network - continuity of access
- Internet and Web2.0 - access at school and at home
- Access to printing
- Other mobile devices - handhelds, include broader mobile computing devices
- Access to data and tools not hardware specific - include ALL types of ubiquitous devices
- Secure network with set criteria for access - devices therefore do not not need to be 'locked down' or even the same model/make/device
Ben, I think your points particularly resonated with me as in my previous school, International School Dhaka, I spearheaded a mobile program that included handhelds and laptops; Palm devices for handhelds and a non-standardized laptop (in other words bring your own with minimum configuration required e.g.XP Pro) with a set of licensed software installed, costs passed onto parents. Since 0607 of course converging technologies has opened up even more possibilities and I agree with you we cannot be just talking about 'laptop programs' anymore.
I welcome further discussion on this. You, the reader of this blog, what is happening in your school re moving to a 1:1 environment while considering access to Web 2.0 and online resources?
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