These are my notes from the last part of the NECC 2009 session, “:1 Laptops and Seamless Integration: Peek into the Frontier” by Howard Levin. Howard is with The Urban School of San Francisco. Howard’s presentation links are available, including his slides for this presentation and many of the video links he referenced in this session. FANTASTIC SESSION, WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN HERE FOR THE WHOLE THING!

discussing motion sensors in physics and the student’s own data
– there is real power in this, the relevance of the student’s own data
– students comparing and contrasting data from when they were on the trapeze

Paradigm shift we are living in now: we have the ability to record and share anything we want now
– the delivery of information no longer has to be syncrhonous


Most schools in this country do NOT let students install new software on their laptops
– we do
– we have students sign an agreement, have

some of the best software being used in our school now is software that was discovered by students

iFlash is an example (flashcards, you can share virtual decks of flashcards)

the idea of locking computers down so kids cannot mess with them is so 20th century

I am passionate about software that helps with student production
– can be in many, many forms

Production is generally what teachers assess in terms of what they have learned
– too often we give kids 1 way to do it
– even with technology often we constrain their choices

what we see as we give kids more opportunities to express how they are learning, we are getting better information and data about what they are learning
– example: letting students do oral composition (instead of written compensation)
– in one example, a student was nervous communicating in class and was a horrific writer, but something magic happened when the student was in their room by themselves and able to record their voice
– is an example of a teacher who has found a way to reach the kids

Another of my mantras: apply the same tools and techniques that we use and apply to students who are defined as “disabled” and apply those for other students

There is magic for many of us as deliverers of knowledge as we verbally express it
– 1 on 1 in a small group it is harder for me to express myself with writing
– I am becoming a better communicator because of the ability to verbally express it

My project I am most passionate about, which is the pinnacle of student production
– Telling Their Stories:
– entire interviews are recorded and transcribed by students using their computers
– you can click on any part of this story and listen to it
– there are now about 100 hours of video on this site
– this is an example of the far end of what you can do with these tools with vision, to enhance and extend what you were not able to do previously in the past

this is a community service to the world
– these interviews are being used across the country in history classes
– students are doing “authentic doing”
– publishing of Internet-based video is now essentially free

Example of a class who interviewed others and researched environmental issues, the audience for their report were environmental experts in the San Francisco area
– now there is dialog as a result of the research and interview work that was done by students and posted to this website

search for “greening SF” – very impressive student wiki

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2 Responses to 1:1 Laptops and Seamless Integration: Peek into the Frontier by Howard Levin

  1. monika hardy says:

    thank you for bringing us there with you. very kind of you. appreciate the notes a great deal.

  2. […] have administrative rights on their own Macbook laptops. As Howard explained in his session, “1:1 Laptops and Seamless Integration: Peek into the Frontier,” teachers at the Urban school have found some of the most creative, constructive and worthwhile […]

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