One-to-one laptops successful

The Fresno Bee reported today about the successful one-to-one laptop program at the Corcoran School District, which is a small K-12 school district in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. 

The article describes the various successes of the program in grades 6-12:

Learning now goes beyond books and class lectures at Corcoran High School. Students have stepped into the fast-paced world of the Internet, thanks to a laptop program implemented last spring.

“I can get information easier,” said freshman Jake Ellis during Thursday’s class, his eyes barely looking up from a Web site describing the conflict between the Chinese and Japanese during the 1930s.

“I’m elated,” he said. “It’s like 100% engagement. Kids are turning in assignments that never turned in assignments before. It’s a great start.” He said using laptops as a teaching tool makes sense because most students already know how to operate the portable computers.

“They’re wired for this type of learning,” Superintendent
Merlo said. “So it’s like, hey, we need to catch up in engaging kids and making sure they have those tools.”

Before laptops were available, students in Antonia Stone’s English honors classes were turning in homework assignments about 80% of the time. Now, Stone said nearly all assignments are turned in. The laptop program also has given students confidence. Stone said none of the students in her remedial English classes shied away from presenting their power point presentations on volcanoes last week. But perhaps one of the best highlights of the laptop program, she said, is seeing students help each other.

“If they teach each other, that’s the best kind of learning,” Stone said.

Another shining example showing how technology use increases student achievement and the importance of putting a computer in the hand of every student.  The one-to-one laptop movement in education originally began at the Methodist Ladies’ College (Grades K-12) in Australia in 1990 as this article explains.  The movement continues today around the world.  I was the main support person as the Library Media Teacher at Alta Sierra Intermediate School when we began the program in the Clovis Unified School District in 1996 as this article explains.  A number of other articles about one-to-one laptop programs are here.

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