Our principal’s goal at our K-8 school of (approximately) 200 students includes plans to get rid of our computer lab. We have a 30-station lab with desktop computers that are running Windows XP. The majority of them have a Pentium 4 processor and are outdated. (Most classrooms also include one or two of the same desktop computer.) This year, we hope to update our infrastructure in order to allow many devices to connect wirelessly. In place of the lab, we are considering having a mobile netbook cart for our lower grades and we want to work towards 1:1 computing in the 5-8th grade.
We have many questions to think about:
- Do we allow students to bring their own devices? Some of our middle school students already have their own laptops at home. If they bring devices from home, how will we support safe browsing and using the technology appropriately?
- What’s better: a netbook or an iPad? I am partial to Apple products, and school was awesome and bought me an iPad at the end of last year that I’ve been able to use with my students. However, do students still need to practice skills typing on a regular keyboard?
- How do we set up our program? Do we allow students to “rent” the equipment for the four years in the upper grades, thereby paying for the technology? If the “rental” costs cover the initial cost of the item, should we allow the students to keep the tech when they graduate from our school?
If you have any thoughts, opinions or experience with any of these issues, leave me a comment and let me know! I’d appreciate it!
Keep a song in your heart!