iamliterate - intheclassroom

Laptop Integration with students in the classroom

Physical Management of Laptops


To assist in the long life of the laptop technology, here are some helpful hints:
  1. Students use two hands to open the lid on all laptops
  2. Students use two hands when carrying laptops from the cart to their desk
  3. Students put the laptop into the cart right hand first (this puts the power plugin on the outsides)(This works for the MacBook series. If you have ibooks then put the left hand in first)
  4. Have a colour code for what type of activity you are doing. Green - Independent work. Yellow - Follow along with me. Red - Eyes on me, hands off keyboards. With Yellow, students then know that it is appropriate to multitask.

  1. Make sure students have clean hands; however, this does not require washing every students hands.

Teaching with Laptops

When teaching with extra material on students desk, like the laptop, here are some helpful hints:
  1. Have the students start up the laptops as soon as they get to their desks
  2. Have an activity for them to start on (possibly All the Right Type) while the rest of the class gets ready.
  3. When you wish to speak to the class with their undivided attention, have the students close the lids
  4. When you wish to speak to the class without loosing internet connection (such as when using First Class), have the students place the lids at 45 degrees.
  5. When asking students to go to a specific site, it is useful to use the Accessibility features on the Mac. zoom.pngIf you go to System Preferences, Universal Access, then you can set the Zoom feature. In short Apple Option 8 turns it ON/OFF and Apple Option + zooms in while Apple Option - zooms out.

Shared Laptops

I am a proponent of not having 1 to 1 laptops for classroom integration. When sharing, students must work together and communicate. They are working towards common goals, rather than competing to get their work done. Several additional reasons that I prefer to have students work with a shared laptop include:
  1. There are lesson laptops active that can have technical problems
  2. Each group has twice as many ears listening to the directions
  3. When actively writing, one student can be using their thinking to type, while the other focuses on just thinking
  4. There are twice as many active problem solvers when problems arise.

Those that are concerned about students not learning or doing their own work, I return a challenges such as:
  1. Why students must type their own work?
  2. Why do we need every student to do the work?
  3. What are we evaluating - their written output or thinking that is communicated?
  4. Are we asking students to answer real world problems or artificial tasks? (When are you not allowed to collaborate in life?)

Management techniques that can help
  1. Assign each student a number (1, 2)
  2. Ask number 1's to get the laptops - Ask number 2's to start it up and login.
  3. Ask number 1's to start inspiration and add their first 3 ideas - Ask number 2's to add 3 of their own or expand

When to have 1 to 1

While I am a proponent of shared learning by sharing laptops, I recognize there are times that you may want every student to be active with their own laptop. Scenarios where this might be the case:
  1. Learning to type.
  2. Writing a personal letter.


How to make 15 laptops act like 30
  1. Have 1/2 class get the laptops and start with the activity requiring individual effort. (Number 1's get the laptops and do 10 minutes of All the Right Type while the rest of us finish our silent reading)
  2. Have 1/2 class get ready for the next assignment while the others finish up. (Number 2's take the last 10 minutes before lunch while we clean up from Art)

  1. Set up Centers activities. As students complete other activities, they can get a laptop and complete a task. When they have all 10 tasks complete, they put the laptop back for the next student do their tasks.
  2. Book the laptops for twice the expected time required. Have 1/2 group complete the task at a time.