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05 January 2011

School Tech: 6 Important Lessons From Maine's Student Laptop Program

Laptops at ISOCS - photo by keepps 
This is an interesting story, especially for ISOCS, where every student has a laptop.

"When students at Skowhegan Area Middle School decided to undertake a study of the town’s history, they departed from traditional readings and paper writing. They instead made podcasts about historical landmarks that cumulatively produced a walking tour, recorded interviews with town elders and created websites for local farmers. Like the 225 other middle schools in Maine, every seventh and eighth grade student has been provided with a laptop computer, making projects like these accessible.

“It’s just a part of how we do business now, and in some ways we’re starting to take it for granted,” explains Michael Muir, who helped design the leadership development program for the initiative that brought one-to-one computing to Maine. “It’s very exciting because it’s now a part of the culture of teaching middle school in Maine … that all the kids have laptops and you teach with technology, and it’s exciting because it’s no longer the new thing.” (link)

The 6 Lessons are
  1. Treat Technology as a Tool, Not a Curriculum Area
  2. Think Differently About Teaching
  3. Decide to Do It, Not Pilot It
  4. Concentrate on Current Curriculum Initiatives at First
  5. Support Teachers as Much as Possible
  6. Make Technology Part of Teachers’ Everyday Language, Too
Maine has long been a model of excellence in 1:1 programs - some of the most inspiring teaching examples and teacher thinking, as well as student work, has come out of Maine since 2002.  Read the whole article at: School Tech: 6 Important Lessons From Maine's Student Laptop Program

For the folks at ISOC: Where do we need to improve?