Our 1:1 Laptop Program Is Going Slow But Steady

Two weeks ago we passed out our newly “batteried” (I know … no such word) Key Lime iBooks (about 7 years old). Since then my fourth graders have learned how to get them out of the carts, started-up, onto the web, start-up Appleworks, save, access Flickr, drag a photo from Flickr onto an Appleworks document, some font and text size adjustment, center text or image, put back in the carts and a few other skills. We also have spent some of our time troubleshooting issues like computers that didn’t have the right version of Appleworks or had no browser installed and the like – which I knew we would deal with. I’ve also learned it is close to ludicrous to all go to the same web site at the same time (we are using original Airport hubs – 26 computers all going online at the same time is a traffic jam waiting to happen), but I am going to play with that some (not that we should have to do that very often).

I’ve felt like things are going too slow – but in retrospect we are doing fine – especially considering that the vast majority of my students have never done this before – never used a trackpad (not one of my 26 students), 2 students had ever had 2 windows open at the same time or knew that was possible. Depending on what happens with getting my 27th student” a computer for her apartment so she can Skype into the classroom, we might get a bit sidetracked while we learn a bit about leukemia and Skype and how we are going to make that work. We also need to start blogging. Think we’ll get that done by Christmas?

Learning is messy!

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2 thoughts on “Our 1:1 Laptop Program Is Going Slow But Steady

  1. I predict great things will continue to happen! This is so exciting, Brian. In terms of Internet access speed, one thing you might consider doing (and this has worked in Edmond schools where I was talking to their IT folks last week) is petition for an additional access point that has a different name. Then setup half your iBooks to connect automatically to one AP, and the other half ot the other AP. If each AP is plugged into a wired 100 MB port that goes into a switch that actually provides 100 MB of throughput, that could be a noticeable improvement in access speeds. I agree that having everyone go to the same website at the same time is generally not a great idea, unless you make an offline copy of it and are accessing it from a school intranet…..

  2. Thanks Wes – we are working on that right now. In the past I’ve had 3 Airport hubs to distribute to, however we got 45 new HP’s ane I’m sharing hubs with teachers using those – the good news is we have upped our wireless connectivity by over 150% – the bad news is that we have not upgraded the hubs that carry the load – however the IT department is telling us they are going to pay for a new wireless access point (maybe 2) since we are doing such great things with them – which is a very positive sign from our IT department, they have put most of their energy in past years to discouraging use because it might overwhelm the system!