Laptop Information

1:1 Computing – Learning: anywhere, anytime

We are excited about this opportunity! The BRFHS 1:1 laptop initiative means that shortly before school started for the 2013-14 school year, every high school student was issued a new laptop to be used for the entire year in all of their classes for research, assignments, homework and in class activities. The teachers and the students receive training to make the most out of this new learning tool.

Laptop Use and Care Handbook

Why BRFHS has decided to implement a 1:1 laptop initiative?

  • To improve the level of teaching and learning in our school
  • To assist students with organization, access to notes, assignments, & research resources
  • To promote engagement, interactivity, and collaboration
  • To address and teach to multiple learning styles
  • To allow for quick collection of student achievement data and adjust teaching accordingly
  • To teach students how to use technology for improved learning

Chris Lehman (principal of the Science Leadership Academy) says that technology should be "ubiquitous and invisible". Our long-term goal is to integrate technology into all of our learning at BRFHS in a way that it is everywhere, but that it is not the focus of what we are doing. At BRFHS we have been using technology in many forms for many years. At times, though, the technology has not worked seamlessly or invisibly. With the 1:1 initiative, we will quickly move to a situation where the technology is everywhere. Every student and every teacher will have a laptop. Students and staff will be connected for learning all the time, everywhere.

Technology should be "ubiquitous and invisible”

It is no mystery that today’s youth are connected electronically. We are eager to leverage that knowledge and those connections to effectively implement out the 1:1 initiative. Other districts have seen significant improvement in the following areas through 1:1 laptop programs.

  • Student engagement
  • Homework completion
  • Instruction that is right at the students’ level
  • Attendance in classes
  • Technology use to improve learning
  • Although this will not happen overnight, it is our goal to make this initiative
  • Improving student engagement
  • Using highly engaging resources available online as well as created by our teachers will motivate students to learn more and dig deeper.
  • Improving homework completion
  • Having all of their materials located on their laptop, students will have no excuse to not do their homework; it will be with them everywhere.
  • Improving instruction at all levels of learning

With the many forms of technology available to gather information about a student’s performance, teachers will be able to quickly adjust their teaching techniques to address various learning levels and styles. Also, the use of different techniques will allow teachers to adapt their lessons to specific groups and individuals, meeting them at their learning level and pushing them further.

Improving attendance in classes

Finally, with a laptop that travels with the students, they can receive, complete and submit assignments, lectures, notes, etc. no matter where they are. Students who are absent can easily receive their missing work and get it completed.

Not merely bells and whistles

We view the student laptops as learning tools. Just as a doctor now has MRIs and CT scans to help do his job better, we can no longer rely on chalk and paper for our students. They need the equivalent of the GPS on the operator’s dozer to provide guidance and accuracy of learning. A laptop can provide that next level of sophistication.

Improving the level of teaching and learning in our school

Students will be able to give teachers instant feedback on their understanding of materials using their laptops. Once a teacher has this information, they can adjust and customize their instruction to help each student. Teachers will have many apps and programs that they can use to change lessons to include more exciting ideas and more interactive and creative approaches. Students will be required to create connections and knowledge that is impossible without this tool.

Using the tools we have

A tool is only as good as the person using that tool. We aim to teach our teachers how to use these new tools with the students to better connect them with the learning process. We will also teach students how they can use this tool and the numerous programs on the laptops to make their learning more enjoyable, more relevant and more individualized.

We plan to use technology:

To assist students with organization, access to notes, assignments, & research resources

Organization is often difficult for high school students. Using the tools available on the laptops, our teachers can help students find a system that works for them to create reminders, schedule assignments, quizzes and tests, develop systems for handing out and turning in assignments electronically and for finding, storing and citing credible researched information.

To promote engagement, interactivity, and collaboration

Laptops in the hands of our students can connect them with experts in the field or those out in the real world who can provide us with information and insights about careers, college and about reasons we study what we do.

To address and teach to multiple learning styles

The laptop puts the student in the driver’s seat for their learning. They need to collect the information, analyze it, present it and make predictions about it. When we think about how we learn, we realize that we don’t only learn from a textbook, quizzes and multiple choice tests. Everything can be taught and learned in many different ways and anything we understand, can be communicated using a variety of approaches.

To find out just what students are learning and where they are struggling

The teachers, too, can quickly collect information from the students through their laptops and then see if the students are “getting it” or not. Then the teacher can adjust their teaching to best meet the needs of the students and guide them towards improvements.

To teach students how to use technology for improved learning

We often think that kids are very good at using technology. In fact, they are good at many things, yet there are tools and programs that they really don’t know and haven’t used. We will be teaching them about proper handling and maintenance of the laptops as well as how best to set them up to truly operate like the MRI machine for the doctor. It doesn’t replace his observation skills, his other tests and his stethoscope, but it sure gives him a much more complete and clearer picture of what is happening. In the same way, the students will use the laptop to get a clearer picture of their learning, but they won’t abandon the good skills they have already developed, like reading, writing and mathematics

The Bottom Line

We are issuing a laptop to every student in the high school next year for one reason: to improve the quality of their learning. The research shows that technology integration improves achievement when digital and fact-to-face teaching is combined. It also has shown that students’ writing skills improve when a 1:1 laptop program is in place. We are looking for more ways that students can connect the off-line learning to the online learning and not compromise either. In other words, using technology to better engage and interest students, we aim to improve their achievement.

 

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