After a year of piloting 2 classes with MacBooks and 3 classes with iPads, we’ve made the decision to go with school-issued MacBooks for the entire 5th grade next year. This will be my first opportunity to teach guidance lessons in a 1:1 environment; so looking forward to it. This will also mean no more going off to gather laptops from a cart in the hallway at the beginning of each lesson – a seemingly small issue but sometimes so time consuming that I wouldn’t even bother using laptops in lessons.
As a counselor, I get to go to different classrooms for guidance lessons, and get to see different teacher approaches for managing technology devices. Next year, more discussion is in order with teachers, about how to manage these machines. Kids benefit when all teachers have consistent expectations for technology use.
On the personal front, this week my house became a 1:1 laptop environment (actually some of us have more than 2 devices) when my future 7th grade daughter’s personal laptop arrived. Welcome to a 21st century household. Even my 72 year old mother has an iPhone.
As a family, we haven’t had a conversation about balancing on and off line activities, and we definitely need to do that. There have been times when all of us are in the living room on our individual machines connecting with people all over the world, and not connecting with each other. In many ways, managing laptops in the classroom is much easier than at home. My household doesn’t have a set structure with clear time periods and breaks in-between. And without that structure, it’s possible to be online all the time, especially the kids who’s friends are on-line with them seemingly at any and all times. I will use Kim’s article on Living with Laptops to guide our family conversation this summer. Wish me luck!