We read all the time about how cost is one of the disincentives to technology in schools, and certainly I donâ€™t know if my current experience is anywhere near what does or would usually be the case, but I left this as a comment on Tom Hoffmanâ€™s blog and thought it was worth posting here too:
“My 1:1 laptop pilot is going pretty well so far with old Apple iBooks – 7 years old – we use Appleworks because it “came with” and iPhoto and iMovie and web browsers and Flickr and blogs and wikis and all kinds of free math and language and science software – haven’t paid for anything but new batteries â€“ once (AND Iâ€™m rolling this class to fifth grade and plan on using them for an eighth year). I don’t know if laptops will usually last this long – they aren’t the latest and greatest and the screen resolution isn’t fantastic – but I haven’t found anything I wanted to do yet that they won’t do (I expected that to happen by the way – “sorry guys we can’t use Fun Brain, the computers are too old” but that hasn’t happened yet. We paid over $1600 per originally so we’re down to almost $200 per year per computer, but the price has dropped close to half and current computers have more power etc.
Maybe it depends on what you want to do with them??? But so far we’ve done everything we wanted to. I do have to use a newer computer when we video Skype, but how often would you need more than one computer doing that in your classroom at the same time? Not that I would necessarily start a 1:1 laptop program in Kindergarten – but 7 years means our current 6th graders (I’m in 4th) could have received these laptops in K and still be using them today as they leave sixth grade.”
So … how far offbase is my experience?