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Collection: Providing Access to Portable Tools

purple arrow (1137 bytes) NCIP Profile: Dock 'n Roll: Laptops on Wheels

NCIP Staff, 1994

At John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, Massachusetts, sixth graders are using laptop computers for an interdisciplinary project that spans four classes: language arts, social studies, science, and math.

Before this project began, the John Glenn teachers raised the following concerns about the program: How will the computers be transported from classroom to classroom? How will teachers monitor and assess student work? How will students save and print their work?

black and white photo of cart with computerTo address their concerns, a large rolling cart was designed. The cart contained six laptop computers with six docking spaces, a desktop computer, and a laser printer.

Students involved in the project roll the cart from one classroom to another. As needed, they take laptops out of their docking spaces where batteries have been recharging. Students can print documents by connecting their laptop to the printer on the cart.

When docked, the laptops are connected to the desktop computer so teachers can easily access student files to evaluate work and type in comments. Each laptop's hard drive can also be backed up on the desktop computer, so if students accidentally erase their files, a copy can still be accessed.

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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