Apple Education eNews has published an excellent and thorough article entitled “Texas Tests Technology’s Potential.” The article showcases many of the educators and students involved in the Texas Immersion Pilot Project (TxTIP).

The TxTIP project has various campuses involved, but the main “quasi-scientific design” portion involves 22 “experimental” junior high school campuses immersed with laptops and 22 “control” campuses not using laptops. Of the 22 experimental campuses, 7 use Apple iBooks and 15 use Dell laptops. This is year two of this grant project.

Back in September, I published a podcast entitled “Educational Vision in Floydada ISD” including interviews with the Floydada school district board of trustees president, the district superintendent, and high school principal. Of the 22 TxTIP districts with a JHS involved, Floydada ISD is the only one that has opted to use local funds to extend the technology immersion to its high school students.

In the words of one Floydada JHS student, “We don’t want to go back to Big Chief tablets in high school.” Thanks to the vision of the Floydada ISD leaders, those students don’t have to when they enter 9th grade. 🙂 Photos from the first TxTIP JHS laptop rollout in the state of Texas (at Floydada JHS) are available courtesy of Glenn Chase. Thanks to Glenn for also alerting me to this feature article.

With the MIT $100 laptop project continuing to move foward, the reality of laptop computers for every student and teacher at your school is likely getting nearer and nearer. Whether or not projects like TxTIP show results, it appears there is sufficient momentum for laptop initiatives (and really faith on the part of parents, educators and policymakers that laptops need to be in the hands of students and teachers) that I think these initiatives will move forward.

Whether or not the teachers of the nation are ready and/or all the parents of children are supportive are different questions. They are important questions, however. One part of the answer to these questions involves the issues I addressed in the “Digital Definers of the New Teacher Education” podcast.

The informational environment in which we live is continuing to change in fundamental ways. Education and educators must change also. Just giving students or teachers a laptop, however, is no guarantee that anything pedagogically different is or will happen in the classroom. This feature article on TxTIP provides numerous insights into the factors that differentiate “successful” laptop initiatives from “others.”

That is what I am currently writing about (mostly on the weekends) for my dissertation! 🙂

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