Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laptops For Learning - UK

A couple months ago my sister-in-law who lives in England called me and was complaining about the new school her daughter has to go to. This new school is technology based, every child in the school has to purchase a laptop through a special program the school has set up. The students will do the majority of their work on their laptops. These were a few of my sister-in-laws complaints:

1. Her daughter is 11 and my SIL does not think she is ready to have the responsibility of a laptop.

2. Her daughter does not get bused to school, she has to walk a mile each way to get to and from school. Which means she is going to have to carry the laptop to and from school each day.

3. She has no option but to buy the new laptop through the school even if she could find a better
deal somewhere else.

4. She feels that because it is a government funded school they should be paying for the laptops
because they are making it mandatory.

5. She is a single parent and can not really afford to make the payments on the laptop and she
will also have to pay now for internet at her home so her daughter can do homework.

She does agree that technology is an important part of today's society and thinks her daughter will benefit from the skills she learns she just has a few concerns.

1 comment:

Shareski said...

This is an interesting situation and I think your sister-in-law's concerns are valid. On the other hand it's interesting to see how other areas are choosing to infuse technology. There's a school district around Detroit that also requires their grade 5 students to purchase laptops although I know that while they have a recommended brand, allow students to choose and also have extras at schools for those who can't afford one. The cost issue is one I challenge in that an investment of $600 over say 4 years is not much different that we spend on shoes for kids in that time.

Thanks for pointing this out as it helps us push the conversation forward. I think there are many aspects we ought to discuss but I do commend efforts to innovate.