Category Archive1:1 Computing
Tom Farrell uses PowerPoint slides to summarize how faculty use Tablet PCs for 1:1 computing in the College of Business and Information at Dakota State University.Farrell described the tablet PC as a “smartboard on steroids” while speaking to faculty at Arkansas Central University.
Dakota State University students are issued tablet PCs (convertible laptops).
As I’d posted a bit ago, Steve Myers finished the Econometrics class in which he was experimenting with 1:1 computing. Since then, he collected and reprocessed comments from the students about the experience:
So the question posed in DyKnow was …Describe how the use of the Tablet PC has assisted your learning of econometrics.
I received many different statements in four broad categories: (1) about the lecture, (2) about reviewing notes, (3) about mobile computing, and (4) a couple of general comments. I have quoted them closely, but changed the writing to be of one style to help you read through this list.
The actual list of comments from the students is definitely worth reading.
Given the rash of instructors banning laptops in classrooms, it is good to see an article in a mainstream source like Yahoo! News encouraging people to rethink the use of technology and to make good/appropriate use of it:
So what does a classroom look like when laptops have been successfully integrated?Students are working individually or in small teams to solve engaging problems or answer compelling questions. They are synthesizing their own experience, ideas from the professor, and sources that they can find on the Web. They are talking with classmates, but they are also collaborating with people outside the classroom walls by e-mailing experts, posting to blogs, or editing pages on wikis (websites that allow users to add, remove, or edit content). The teacher has come down from the lectern and is moving throughout the room, watching what students are doing, asking questions, posing challenges, and brushing shoulders with the student who just checked the scores on ESPN.com.
Periodically the action is stopped. The teacher instructs the class to close their laptops, except perhaps one designated scribe. They talk. They share their insights, their solutions, and their obstacles. The Socratic exchange is fueled by the insights developed through electronic inquiry. The powerful face-to-face questioning isn’t competing with the laptops; instead, it depends on it. When the dialogue ends, the teacher encourages students to reopen their notebook computers and summarize the important points of the conversation. Sometimes the instructor is delivering content, but more often the teacher is helping students learn how to learn.
[as seen on Working in Ed Tech]
As I’m staring down the barrel of 1:1 computing at my own school, I’m continually intrigued by the various case studies and reports and post-mortems—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Though I am inherently suspicious of case studies presented by the company selling the product under study, Microsoft’s Case Study of Bishop Hartley High School is worth reading. Here’s a snip from early on:
[Ken] Collura [the Director of Technology] didn’t like the classroom scenario of a teacher confronted by the backs of laptop screens, which makes eye-to-eye contact with students difficult and reduces personal interaction in the classroom. Students’ varied typing abilities and keyboarding noises were also considerations. More importantly, laptops did not provide the mobility and ubiquitous access to information Collura wanted for Bishop Hartley students. “The laptop computer requires a place to put it down and type,” he says. “I wanted a tool that would enable one-to-one computing: the idea is that a student could use technology all day everyday, anywhere, anytime, to facilitate learning.”
(originally seen on GottaBeMobile.com, “A Tablet PC Education Success Story”)
From a post on Techdirt:
There’s been plenty of talk over the years about how computers will replace textbooks in the classroom and how students will just look stuff up online instead of having to tote around books. A fair number of schools give students laptops, but now, some of those programs are being stopped because they’re not having any positive impact on students’ education. That’s not very hard to believe, since it sounds like many of the programs cited in the original article basically just threw laptops at students, and made very little effort to work them into the curriculum in a meaningful way. [emphasis added] This point has been clear from the outset: simply giving kids computers (or people in developing nations, as with the $100 dollar OLPC) isn’t going to do much. Computers, internet access and other technologies should be seen as useful tools, not silver bullets for education. Making them available is too often seen as a quick fix by politicians and administrators, but not creating some sort of plan around them essentially ensures long-term failure once the shine of being oh-so-high-tech wears off.
From Working in Ed Tech:
One-to-One Institute’s Leslie Wilson did a great job identifying the main pitfalls of a 1:1 and how to avoid them. I heard her speak last week at the Intel Visionary Conference in D.C. She previously organized all the professional development for Michigan’s Freedom to Learn program.
The savvy 1:1 administrator:
- Tells stakeholders why school is pursuing a 1:1
- Provides relevant research (One-to-One offers this)
- Stays well-informed on trends and best practices
- Eats his own dogfood i.e. uses the technology himself
- Stays available and willing to work through issues
- Makes PD a priority each year of the program i.e. budget!!
- Ensures consistent communication with parents
- Chooses relevant assessment metrics and uses rubrics to measure progress each year
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this clear and concise of a list and I’m hoping that people trying to make 1:1 computing happen read this and follow it. The One-to-One Institute looks like it’s got a lot of good resources, too.
My intent to blog throughout this experience got way laid with the end of the semester pressures from school and elsewhere. The experiment is essentially over and the 8 students in my graduate econometrics course have now completed their last class using DyKnow Vision on their Gateway M285 Tablet PCs. Recall from previous posts that in about the 10th week of classes we assigned to each graduate student exclusive use of a Tablet PC. Overall I think this was a very successful experience and experiment and hope to reproduce it again.
Let me go on record as having always opposed laptops in the classroom (including when I was CIO of this university). I thought curriculum had to be bent badly to allow their use and find it ridiculous to see students shove their laptop aside just to take notes on paper. … I am a huge fan of instructor used computers in the classroom and I have used a laptop everyday in every course since 1995 or so. I did so to display my lecture notes and presentations to the students, adding a digital tablet and later the SMART Sympodia, and later yet again I used the Tablet PC so I could digitally whiteboard. But I found no need for students to have laptops in class.
In this 1:1 computing and econometrics experience, the success comes from the combination of the Tablet PC and DyKnow Vision. Students have the lecture notes or presentations displayed on their Tablet PCs and they can annotate them and take private notes by typing or with digital ink.
While many manufacturers offer extended warranties, they most often do not cover accidental damage or theft, and that’s where Columbus-based Safeware, The Insurance Agency Inc. enters the picture. The company is one of only a few in the nation that specializes in insurance for portable electronic items such as laptops.
The firm offers coverage for not only laptops, but also desktop computers, smart phones and the fast-growing segment of tablet PCs, where users can actually write or click on the screen using a pen-like utensil.
“Tablets are becoming very common, especially in the medical field or in construction out on job sites,” Cole [marketing manager for Safeware] said.
“A lot of schools are into one-on-one stuff, almost doing away with books, and they have a lot of liability with kids taking (laptops) out of the classrooms. Sometimes you have kids as young as fourth-grade handling them,” Cole said.
One-to-One Institute and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) offer One-to-One Information Resources. The original site (“The Ubiquitous Computing Evaluation Consortium”) was developed by SRI International under a project funded by the National Science Foundation.