REFERENCE: Bank Street College of Education. (1993, May). Project PULSE: Laptop computers for students and teachers. News from the Center for Children and Technology and the Center for Technology in Education, p.1-6.
The following is excerpted with permission of the authors.
Laptops offer different benefits from desktop computers, but they also have some special needs. Careful attention to these issues in advance can help to make laptops a flexible, powerful, and convenient tool in classrooms.
Adequate power supplies: Laptop batteries need to be recharged on a regular basis. Ideally, power supplies should be within reach of students' seats so that they can continue to work with their computer plugged in. Power strips should be installed around the perimeter of classrooms. Accessible and secure storage space: Laptops need to be secure when not in use. A locked closet or other storage space that is monitored by staff but is easily accessible for students ensures easy access and minimal risk of theft, loss or damage.
Flexible work space: Using laptops encourages flexible groupings of students and mobility in and around the classroom, particularly when students are writing together or sharing data. Laptops work best in a classroom large enough to accommodate such activities.
Project structure that encourages responsibility among students: Students take on a significant responsibility by becoming temporary owners of portable computers. Establishing expectations early on in the project, by signing contracts and creating regular routines, helps to make students feel that they are part of an on-going, significant school program.
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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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