Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lab to Laptops

Looking at "turning in" my computer lab computers for two additional carts of laptops. What do you think? Here is my thinking... thanks to FNO for some ideas!
Discussion item:
Replacing the computer lab with 2 additional carts of 20 laptops, giving staff access to 60 laptops housed on 3 carts.

The district is willing to exchange our 21 eMac’s from the computer lab for 2 additional carts of laptop computers. These would be mixed with our current laptops (existing laptops will have new replacement batteries installed over summer)

You will NOT be turning in any current desktops that are already in the classrooms. Whatever numbers you have now in your classrooms, those will remain.


• Laptops return control to teachers in ways that make the classroom feel like it usually feels; laptops become part of the classroom
• A cart of laptops can be deployed across a room in many different ways, thereby maximizing the fit between the teacher's style and the way the lesson precedes.
• Laptops allow for easy movement within a classroom or across a school.
• Laptops also make possible the clustering and combining of enough units in each classroom to achieve something worth doing.
• Laptops are free to roam wherever students are learning. They require no special furniture. They can sit next to books and papers on a regular desk surface. They can fit on a lap. They can rest on a floor on a rug.
• When one teacher is finished with a technology rich lesson and has little need for the laptops, they are simply loaded into a cart and rolled down the hall to someone who is ready and eager to begin a unit. No need to sit around idle while non-computer tasks are taking place.
• With our technical experiences with wireless laptops in time and experience, we have become comfortable and enthusiastic seeing wireless as a practical and helpful addition to our classrooms

How does this affect the Tech Facilitator’s role:

• More integrated and collaborative role in TECH piece to your curriculum
• Technology Facilitator to be accessible to staff and more able to team with LRC director
• Technology Facilitator available by online reservation system to assist in the classroom or co-teach
• iChat or Walkie Talkies may be available to reach the Tech Facilitator for questions or assistance

Scheduling of Carts

• Each cart would “carry” it’s own schedule clipboard. Location of carts would be arranged throughout the building.
• Each cart location/wing would have a “tech teacher” who would oversee any immediate management/questions about the cart i.e. – making sure it is plugged in, on, and unlocked.
• Carts would be returned to the LRC for the weekend
• Scheduling of Tech Facilitator continues as it currently is

Current lab space in LRC can be utilized for

• Small group work
• PST meetings
• Overflow from LRC
• NWEA testing
• Standardized testing
• Conferences
• Whole Group instruction