A Computer For Every Student
“One-to-one programs” are popular in private schools, and the governor wants them in all the public schools, but the jury is still out on their effectiveness
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Laptops or Tablets?
In one-to-one programs, choosing a device is a huge initial decision. With the new advanced tablets, laptops may no longer be the obvious choice.
This school year, Mid Pacific Institute started a one-to-one iPad program for all students in grades 3-12, with K-2 students having access to iPads at certain times during the school day.
Bob McIntosh, technology director at Mid Pac, says the iOS 5 operating software expanded the capabilities of Apple’s iPad, making it more relevant for education. That’s one of the main reasons the school chose it. The popularity of earlier iPads on campus, plus the lower cost versus laptops, made the decision easier.
“We asked, ‘Do kids need a laptop to do what we really truly want them to do with the device, knowing that we’re always going to have the high-powered (computer) labs?’ ” says McIntosh. “I think that’s when we realized they don’t and made the decision that, well, the cost (for tablets) is less, too, so we can do this, grades 3-12, in one year.”
Although tablets are gaining popularity, many one-on-one programs still use laptops. The decision often depends on what teachers want the devices to do.
“We considered the iPad,” says Amy Kimura, assistant principal at the high school of Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama Campus, “but our teachers have been learning and preparing to integrate things into their curriculum with a more robust laptop capability and if we switched it now to an iPad, they would have to rethink all of that. It does a lot, but it doesn’t do everything the laptop can do.”
Here’s a look at some educational benefits of laptops versus tablets:
Laptops (not netbooks)
– Marcie Kagawa
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