Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | May 3, 2008

Laptop Ups and Downs

We’ve had laptops available to us for almost two full weeks now.  They have been two weeks full of learning—learning how to use them, and learning about my own thinking.  Here are a few of the highs and lows. (It was a stretch to get the two lows.)

 

High  The kids love them.  They vie for them the minute they are in the classroom and remind me if we are late in getting them into our classroom when I have said that we will be using them.  Riley commented, “I like plaeing with the labtops.”

 

Low  Small technical difficulties that interrupt.  For example, each of the computers has a wireless mouse, and the kids have discovered that if the laptops are too close together, one mouse can control two cursors, irritating the user of the second computer.  There have been other difficulties with the wireless mice as well.  I think they might be on their way out of the computer cabinet.  We have also, on occasion, not been able to get all of the computers on the Internet at once.  My principal tells me that this means that the school has reached the limit of its Internet capacity.

 

High  The kids love to watch anything that moves, especially if there is sound attached, and they are now able to view them all without the computer stalling.  I’ve been able to use a couple of new applications (Animoto and One True Media) on my classroom blog that I had tried before, but had to remove because they were just too much for my elderly Sunray computers.  

 

Low  Now what do I do about those Sunray computers?  I can’t recall us using them more than once in the past two weeks, and as we begin to use more applications that they can’t handle, it will be more unlikely that we will.  I’m hesitant to get rid of something that will work for even a few things we want to do, though…

 

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Responses

  1. Why do laptops have mice?

  2. Good question. We’ll have to set some traps in the storage cupboard.
    Actually, instead of having a pad, these particular laptops have a tiny red button in the middle of the keyboard which my children find difficult to control. I think we’ll have to make a new effort, though. Some days I have spent much of our time solving problems with the mice.

  3. We just use the usb plug-in mice, and although it’s a cord management issue, we deal with it:)

    As for the sunrays, is there a primed and waiting candidate ready to dive into the world of technology that you could pass these on to? You know, share the wealth, spread the seed, etc.

    Great to hear positive stories about laptops in elementary;) We should collaborate sometime!

  4. How large are the laptops? If they are full size how are they working? Did you consider XO’s? My school will be embarking on a laptop program next year. I would love to get it into the division I hands ASAP. I do worry that the keyboards are too large. Any thoughts from your experience?

  5. Eldon,
    The laptops are regular size. We do have one XO in our classroom that Dean Shareski loaned to us, but it’s my understanding that you can’t get any more just now. My kids don’t seem to be bothered by the size of the keyboard. Their fine motor control is not yet well enough developed to keyboard properly–they hunt and peck. I think the grade threes start the keyboarding skills in my school.


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