There is a lot of information on this subject “out there” that is necessary for any school or individual to become familiar with before bringing laptops into the classroom. The end of this blog will include several very helpful with a wealth of practical tips.
From my own perspective, I tended to learn rapidly from the mistakes I made as I fumbled my way through attempting to use laptops with my students.
The things that worked for me were:
Initial set up:
* train a few kids in the specifics of collecting, transporting, and plugging in laptop carts
* assign students an actual numbered computer
* train the entire class to remove/replace computers correctly/safely
*Insisting on student attention while you are instructing (screens down)
* Using existing technology (notebook recorder; jing) to produce video clips that are stored on the student server for easy access. Students can use these as a resource for going to particular websites.
If one staff member is not consistent with any one aspect (for example charging, sending, retuning the cart; ensuring each computer is plugged into the cart) then the whole system can break down. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This can lead to frustration, and then less likelihood of the laptops being used by that teacher again - resulting in the under utilization of a potentially powerful learning tool.Laptop Management Links