One-to-One Computing? Necessary?

March 17, 2010

I want to tackle a topic that has sparked some controversy lately. We spent a few minutes discussing the privacy issues involved with take-home laptops at a Philadelphia suburb school in one of our LLED classes. The case started not too long ago when the spy software was used on a laptop a student had taken home. My family discussed it over spring break and I got some views from people whose lives aren’t involved in education in a professional sense. The biggest issue of conversation seemed to be why the students need take-home laptops. There are one-to-one computer initiatives across the country, but I’ve read more articles citing lack of evidence for learning than I’ve read articles that cite evidence that these computers support learning. So what is it? I have mixed feelings. I’ve heard and read more opinions against the initiative. There are other alternatives to one-to-one computers. We’ve been told that homework should only take up so much time each night; that being said, why is it necessary to take home a computer? I’ve worked with teenagers for quite a while now and odds seem to be that the students would be using the computers at home for reasons other than school—Facebook, Myspace, etc. Perhaps having an open school computer lab would be more useful for cases for class research and media projects? I know of many schools that have done this, although they have been small schools, and it has worked. Teachers reserve a computer lab for specific class periods to complete the work and students can use the supervised computer lab after classes. So I guess the big question here is what really works when it comes to computers and schools? And how does privacy come into play when students take laptops home? The aforementioned case outside of Philadelphia is ongoing so we don’t know what will come of the privacy issue for now, but I plan on tracking it through.


One Response to “One-to-One Computing? Necessary?”

  1. […] Shanley writes in her latest blog post “One-to-One Computing?  Necessary?” about laptop programs and privacy.  She asks about whether students should be able to take […]

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