As more and more students bring in digital learning devices, I should expect the types of exchange that I have had with a student to take place. In fact, on Monday I presented to the faculty about this very issue. Since students can bring in digital learning devices, are we helping, harnessing, or hindering the use by our students.
Here is an exchange by a 7th grade boy who asked great questions regarding his learning:
Hi Mr. Schaefer,
I was wondering if students are allowed to bring in a laptop of their own to work on during classes like taking notes and other stuff or does it depend on the teacher? Also, are students allowed to bring in a laptop for work use during study halls of educational purposes (of course).
This is my response:
Students are allowed to bring laptops or other digital Device to school and can connect them to the network so they have Internet and can even connect to the student servers if needed. I have directions and can assist. The Acceptable Use Policy states this.
Student Personal Laptops, iPods, Cell Phones, and other Digital Devices
Durham Academy believes the use of a digital device (laptop, iPod, etc.) can benefit the educational program if used appropriately. Students in the Middle and Upper School may bring a personal laptop to campus for their academic use. Prior to using it, they will need to set it up so it can connect to our network. Student’s wishing to do this should get the instructions from the divisional technology teacher. While on the Durham Academy network, all actions will be logged just like any other computer on campus using our installed network tools. Durham Academy is not liable for any loss or damage incurred, nor can it load any software onto a student computer. Students should secure their laptop in a locked locker or classroom. All students’ laptops and digital devices should be clearly labeled with the student’s name. Improper or non-educational use could result in loss of privileges for the on-campus use of such devices.
Depending on the teacher students should certainly be allowed to take notes or other class related work during class. Study hall should be a great place for you to use your laptop.
I have talked with the faculty about students bringing in their laptops and if we are helping them, harnessing the power or hindering the use by students. I think students should be able to use the laptop whenever it is appropriate for classwork and if you take notes, you should add them to a teachers Moodle course for other students.
My concerns are mostly related to securing the laptop when at school to prevent theft or damage.
What type of laptop do you have? Do you bring it to school? Have teachers told you that you can use it or that you can not use it?
Let me know if I can be of help.
His response to mine is also telling:
Thanks for your email. I have the regular white, 13 inch MacBook and its great! I have not brought my laptop in yet but now that I have your thoughts I will bring it in soon (and see you to hook it up) and talk to teachers about whether I am allowed to take notes in their class from now on using it. I have been interested in this because I do think (like you) that technology use from a laptop or iPod can be helpful to students and I think it would make daily school life easier.
So the question is when he brings the laptop to school we will help, harness or hinder? Do we build a community of learners who share content with each other in the open, or do we stick to the same way of learning?
As I was writing this post, a student came in and exclaimed he got a new iPod Touch for his birthday. And the beat goes on…..
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