This podcast features an interview with a teacher from eastern Oklahoma who was ambitious, creative, persistent, and fortunate enough to receive 150 free HP laptops from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) at the end of the 2007-2008 school year for students in the elementary school where she teaches. Unfortunately, however, the secretary for this K-12 Oklahoma school decided that the laptops which were donated for student use were too delicate for students to be able to use, and since May 2008 has successfully blocked all the teachers and students in the school district from using ANY of these donated laptop computers except for ten of them. I am sharing this recorded interview with the teacher in the hope that listeners can offer suggestions for how this stalemate can be broken, and these laptops can be utilized by students as well as teachers in a one to one learning initiative. Certainly there are MANY issues which need to be addressed for a successful one to one learning initiative: digital curriculum, professional development, wireless and other networking infrastructure, on-site technical support, just-in-time instructional support, insurance for student laptop use at home, content filtering at home, etc. Recognizing the complexity of these issues, however, the COST for laptops for students is also a significant obstacle in our Oklahoma schools. Having 150 free laptops provided to a school for student and teacher use sounds like a fairy tale, but that fairy tale can’t have a happy ending if the school’s administrative secretary won’t allow the laptops to be used by students and the superintendent won’t even inform the school board members about the availability of these laptops in the district. Please share your thoughts and suggestions for how this situation can be constructively addressed.
- The Case for 1 to 1 Computing in Schools (TCEA 2007 presentation)
- Anywhere Anytime Learning Foundation (AALF)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a low-cost, connected laptop for the world’s children’s education
- Learn and share about OLPC (blog post from 28 Nov 2008)
- Video about the deployment of 15,000 XO laptops in Birmingham, Alabama (Nov 2008)
- Free software used for OLPC Project (Live CDs available for download)
- Laptop Project (one to one learning initiative) in Crescent, Oklahoma
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