Image via WikipediaWe are in the early stages of evaluating the overall value of laptops for our teachers. The most obvious issue is cost. When you can currently purchase approximately 2.5 desktops vs. 1 laptop - it would be a heavy upfront cost. After the initial questions - others begin to arise - and I would like your thoughts on these questions and the project as a whole.
- Laptops vs. Netbooks? Do teachers need a laptop, or would a netbook meet their needs? If so, cost is no longer an issue. Do certain teachers (power users) need a laptop - are you providing better tools to some than others?
- Are you really getting "free work"? I have heard this argument before and have yet to find a reason to disagree with it. If teachers are able to take their device home with them - are they more likely to plan, research and work from home - thus providing a better learning environment for their students?
- What happens when a teacher is out for the day and the lesson plan requires use of interactive tools? Do you have "back up" devices on-site? Must the substitute teacher be creative?
- Do you control the content and applications used when outside the school building? Obviously while on their campus - usage will be monitored, but when the user takes the device home and connects to their personal Internet service - should the district still control the device?
- Does a "Laptop for Teacher" program need to come before a 1:1 initiative in a school district? If a district were to implement a 1:1 for students - what if your teachers are not "up to par" with technology? They will be forced to learn on the fly and the upfront instruction / integration could be lacking. If the Laptop for Teacher program were implemented first and teachers were given a couple of years to learn new ways to integrate the device - would a student laptop program be more successful?
JDS | CIO