September is here and once again the adage “too much to do and too little time” applies! I’m sooo excited about sooo many things… hmmm… that tells me it’s going to be a GREAT year! (If I can just organize myself and focus on what is a “must do” instead of what is a “want to do”!) I do “want”, however, to get back to updating this blog and I have the perfect reason… 6 of our teachers received a Dell laptop and we are attending our first workshop at the upcoming ProD day!
I have my own laptop at home, so I am familiar with using one, but the school has only recently added a wireless hub so I have stuck to using my (personal) desktop computer at school. There are so many restrictions and “red tape” to using a district computer, that when I upgraded my home computer, I brought the old one to use at school. (For example, we are not allowed to add or choose our own software at school.) I originally said that I would let someone else have the 6th laptop, but our principal said that most of our teachers wanted to wait until the next laptops come. Additionally, he was hoping that I would be the “go to” person for the laptop initiative at our school. There… doesn’t that sound like a good excuse to get a new laptop???
I have to say that I am absolutely THRILLED with the portability of a laptop in the classroom. Last year I bought a horribly expensive long cable so that my desktop computer could be attached to a projector which needed to be in a certain spot to fit on the pull-down screen. In order to use it, I had to squash behind my desktop CPU to undo the monitor and attach the cable, then bring my wireless keyboard and mouse over to the projector because I could only view the picture on the screen (the monitor was now blank). Afterward, everything had to be put back again. I was excited to be able to show my students webpages on a large screen, but the setup was a real nuisance . WELL… on the first day of receiving the laptop, I was able to roll out my projector, attach the laptop and VOILA, we were looking at the classroom webpage! Just like that!
Something I am looking forward to learning about at the workshop is Smartboard-like applications . When the laptop is turned on, it immediately tells me that it can’t find a Smartboard… how rude to remind me that we don’t have any at our school!! However, an interesting little menu bar/toolbox appears on the side of my laptop screen and that indicates that there may still be some applications I can use.
After the workshop, I will blog about the successes we achieve and the impediments we run into. The six of us are at various levels of tech. comfort and range from Gr 3 to Gr. 5 teachers. I had to laugh when a teacher from another school said how fast her new laptop is, after hearing from one of our “Mac users” say how slow the new laptop is! It’s all a matter of perspective. (I plan on finding out what “cool things” my friend’s Mac does and then trying to reproduce them on a Dell!) Hopefully some of our 6 teachers in this first initiative will add their own comments to this blog!
Let’s see whether other readers have laptops in their classroom.
I will be interested to see the results!