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Laptops for 7th graders?


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7TH grade laptops  

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  1. 1. Do you believe 7graders should have laptops

    • Yes
      18
    • No
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    • Other
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My school has recently started a pilot program where the 7th graders books have been replaced with laptops they are allowed to take them home and use them as their personal computer, however at school the internet filter is still in place. My question is do you believe they should have laptops?

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No. Maybe access to computer labs and such, but they beocme destractions for kids in the classroom. Grab a pen and notebook, write down your info, use the computer once home or in study hall/library to do the research, but for a classroom, high school kids would be chattign to each other or playign games instead og doing their work. College is a different story. There, you pay for school, so you snooze, you lose, its up to you to put forth the effort. In highschool, teachers have enough trouble gettings kids motivated topay attention.

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http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/0...-a-backlash.ars

'nuff said.

Anecdote:

I know for a fact that I pay more attention when my iPhone and computer are off.

EDIT:

In my opinion: Without a comprehensive restructuring of the education system that takes advantage of the technology, it just doesn't make sense.

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Seeing as how things are going this year they might not have them next year... so far they have been nothing but headaches I think I have been pulled out of every class to fix them during the day. I have encountered everything from busted batteries, to pens jammed in to the computer (that actually happens a lot), we have also had keys broken off, people chewing on their pens, another common problem is the computers loose connection with the wifi at random times causing the teachers to send the kids out of class to have me or the librarian fix it because the kids can no longer do the work they were assigned.Edited 8:11 Bad Grammer

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I don't understand the point of this pilot. First of all, why 7th graders? Secondly, It is impossible to assign every assignment on their computers. So where does math come in?

I think this is a bad idea for many reasons. One the kids will get distracted. Two why can't they just have access to a computer lab. Lastly, what does this possibly teach? Also if they have these many problems it is obvious that the computer won't last (loss in money) and they have probably wasted an amount of time trying to get the computer to work correctly than actual learning and using it to its full potential.

cheers,

Destro

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I don't understand the point of this pilot. First of all, why 7th graders? Secondly, It is impossible to assign every assignment on their computers. So where does math come in?

I think this is a bad idea for many reasons. One the kids will get distracted. Two why can't they just have access to a computer lab. Lastly, what does this possibly teach? Also if they have these many problems it is obvious that the computer won't last (loss in money) and they have probably wasted an amount of time trying to get the computer to work correctly than actual learning and using it to its full potential.

cheers,

Destro

As for why the 7th grade class got them I do not know.

But for math they have tablet pc's so they can write directly on the screen. I believe that the reason they could not have a computer lab is because the teachers would not be able to assign homework.

It will result in a loss of money and if they decide to cancel the pilot for next year i will be visiting the county auction to add some computers to my collection.

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Thin client dumb terminals with the curriculum and maybe test exercises on the machiens would be somethign to think about, but expensive full blown laptops the school owns or has to maintain, just stupid. Even a desktop would better suit the needs, as wireles sin a school systme is just asking for trouble. No, computers for work is fine, but at home, not in the classroom unless you are doins somehting specific to comptuers, like A+, CAD, Programming, etc. And for that, a lab of workstations or thin clients would be better suited.

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I HATE reading books on computers. Dont know what it is, but when I read a book I want to be able to sit in a comfortable place, dog ear pages, highlight stuff. I can do that on a computer but its just different. Paper is key.

I feel the same way !! I think it has to do with the texture of the pages and contrast with the ink (think warm & soft).. an LCD or CRT is all bright and headache inducing when it comes to relaxed reading. I know many people who feel this way. I have tons of stuff in PDF that came with the original books but, I never read them on the PC.

Plus I find that when I'm reading a book on the PC it's that much easier to get distracted from reading that one file/page... I'll read somthing and think .. oh that reminds me.. or ooh that's cool lemme check it out... very easy to get distracted while online.. and NO i'm not talking about pr0n. :P

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I have to say that I am the total opposite with reading on a computer. I can read for days and much faster on a computer than in a book. Mainly it's because of highlighting purposes. I can highlight where I am reading with the cursor and never lose where I am at and the words I am reading stand out from the ones I have not read yet or the ones I have already read. When I read a book in paper form (it's always been this way with me..) it's like a whole paragraph will become jumbled and I get lost in a mess of letters trying to read (sometimes) but either way I get distracted on a word or an accumulation of words at once... odd I know.

As far as the laptops.... heh... I went through that whole shpeil in high school.

Meet Netschools:StudyPro_NetSchools_cd.jpg

This little peice of crap skittle looking laptop sported a 50mb ramdrive, 14" screen a celeron 200mhz processor and a REALLY scaled down version of windows 95.

The faculty didnt know how the hell to use it

The kids didnt know how to use it

The network administrators locked the network down to the point of being useless from any point of view. Educational or not!

It connected to the network via line of sight ir (wifi was just almost out back then) and it was basicly just something extra to tote around with us to and from school for 2 years.. played nesticle pretty well though!

The only thing I remember educational from that was putting roms on the network drive at school for distrobution and using portal sites to get around firewalls....

To be honest, it WOULD have been a great tool, IF it was implemented properly and everyone got the proper training, but let's face it. Even now your average middleschool to highschool teacher only knows facebook and maybe foodnetwork.com for the computer (and freecell.. cant forget that..)

It just can't happen unless implemented properly and with the proper ammount of use.

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Aside from being a complete distraction won't this just create a generation completely reliant on spell check. Furthermore I just hate taking tests on computers. One of the relatively local high schools where I grew up had a huge budget for computers and would get new ones nearly every year and students would just play video games 90% of the time. Even in my high school with old P3's we played Starcraft nearly every day. Then again I was home schooled during 7th grade and spent a lot of time on Xbox Live playing Unreal Tournament and watching neighbors renovate their home. I did learn quite a bit about construction. Even in College the laptop is too much of a distraction for most, if i recall correctly some schools estimated that social networking sites were more than 75% of their traffic at one point. Many of those 7th graders will learn a great deal about computing but no about the subjects their teachers want them too.

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I like reading on the computer more because I dont haft to hold a book. Just sit and read. Don't really highlight stuff, but at least with the computerized version you can copy/paste into a notes doc to keep track of the material.

Desktops in every classroom with the bare minimum and exercises pre-loaded either on the computers locally or on a network share. No laptops. Too much trouble like said and since the students can use them for personal uses all of the stuff they use in their free time is available to them during school time. With locked down desktops, there wouldn't be.

With desktops in every classroom, there would be less need for computer labs as well, though one or two may still be useful for the occasional project.

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it will just cause many problems and it will be a support nightmare for the schools IT

and most 7th graders cant go very long with out breaking things of getting their PCS infected with every bit of spyware on the planet

this will make no motivation teachers to even use laptops to teach students because of all the problems

it will just be a waste of tax payers money, and they will most likely wind up broken

while not all 7th graders will have these, it will happen to most and thus the teachers will not be able to use it as by law they are not allowed to create an environment where any of the students cant learn

the laptops will just be a free toy for the students, the best solution will be laptops that are kept in a cart and only taken out and handed to students in class only when needed then taken back at the end of the lesson

this will keep them from being broken and will also keep them from being used as toys, (there many monitoring programs that can be installed to see what students are doing on the laptops while in class and allow the teacher to take control of the laptop if needed )

computers are useful but only when the students buy them, when I was in high school and the school let some of the students take home the graphing calculators, they came back with cracked screens or really dirty or just messed up, but those same students will have a cellphone or a side kick with out a single scratch on it

students don't feel a need to take care of school property

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I concur with dingle, I would much rather have a book than read of a computer.

7th graders should have access to computers but only in a lab enviroment, I don't see the point of any student needing a laptop unless they are in collage/uni.

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I have way too much to say about this topic being that I work at a school.

First off if all they do is take text books and put text on the computer it will fail.

If they do not invest in the infrastructure and personnel to maintain computers it will fail.

It will not be easy or cheap but will if done right tablets can be a great benefit to education.

First problem to overcome is that of physical damage. This is simple do it the same way as text books if you damage you have to pay for it.

Second is of content this is not very good but is getting better everyday. Here is an example.

Third is of monitoring of the student to make sure there time is spent productive. This is only solved by a good teacher who is aware of the class. Software can help but doesn't replace a good teacher.

Fourth problem is equipment failure I will break this down into two parts, software and Hardware. Software is fairly easy you can use a program like deep freeze as well as having a good system for quick wiping and imaging of machines. To take care of a hardware failure all you need to do is order plenty of extras I would suggest about 10% more then needed then if a computer is broken you simply replace it and since you have an image it will be just like there old computer. If the computer is broken due to neglect or misuse then they would be responsible for the repair costs.

The one problem though that does not have an easy solution is that a parent might not want there kid being responsible for a $2000 piece of equipment when they would be the one who would have to foot the bill.

I believe that having computers is a good thing. The main reason is because I feel it is more important to teach someone how to learn instead of teaching them set of facts, and I know in my adult life if I have something I want to learn about my first stop is usually a computer.

Also I have issues with modern day textbooks because they are made to sell to the politician not actually be a useful tool in education. A good example of this is a anecdote by Richard Feynman

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A classroom full of kids with laptops requires that you teach them how to learn on their own. Modern education systems require that you teach kids things, so a laptop won't help here as it will distract from what you are trying to teach.

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Mike that was a fantastic write up and you made a a really valid arguement that I couldn't agree more with. I believe money would be the biggest issue though, most schools just like most people like to have things on the cheap and assume it will all just work. When things go wrong it's the poor I.T guy that cops the blame and has to put up with the on going B.S fixing all the problems.

lol @ Vako its funny cuz its true.

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Overall I would say NO... BUT.. in certain classes and cases I would say Yes. The reason being is because everything they do on their laptop can be tracked by the school since it is school property, and a program like that may work out well with the "problem" kids at school.

OR

They should be able to apply to borrow one if their home residence does not have a computer in it allready, and their parents cant afford one and are working on minimum wage or "poor". They sign a paper so if they steal / run off with the laptop it goes against their credit until they pay the cost of it back, or a possible criminal theft charge if the school really wanted too. The school has enough information allready to track the student later on. I was fortunate to get a computer at 8 years old a commadore 64 and it helped me alot in learning how to use computers. I think every family home should have a computer in it. Just a basic laptop or pc that they can surf the net, do school work, create images, music and program apps and also has educational games..

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What does a 3 year old do with a computer?...

At some point you realize the age of child and the use of computers during that stage in thier life isn't a good idea.

have a kid then you can talk

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Ok my opinion is Yes under certain requirements.

a) it isn't taxes paying for it because computer break, kids screw with them, etc. Also then taxes would be paying for the new laptop if it is broken not the kid who broke it.

B) They are old clunkers ok not too old but in 7th grade I had a inspirion 5000. 50 gb, 500mhz 192RAM and win 2k it ran fine for school work. I bought with my money.

c) access is lockdown. If there are sights that arne't blocked and a teacher see a student on it they should be able to block it for the remainder of the class period

d) they don't go home

e) They are used in the classroom

f) The kids don't own them. If a kid wants a laptop do what I did buy one with their money (ok my parents helped too) off of ebay 500mhz inspirion are a decent price.

g) They are used for a good ten years (owe now their not going to be state of the art). They don't need fast computers word processing a research. Use an old firefox with adblock, no script and flashblock. But an old firefox will be virus riden... see h)

h) used steady state. Also limit save space and remap their my documents to a network drive so it won't get erased with steady state.

j) Lock down the start bar, my computer, etc... No run dialog, no all programs, etc. just have all the programs on a net drive and shortcuts on the computer desktop.

As for education I think every school should have this... ILC (Individualized Learning Center). I had it in my school for math and lit (both honors) and the teacher would assign homework and chapter for math we would read the section and do the work. If we had question we could ask her. Though it takes a teacher who loves to teach when that teacher retired ILC wasn't the same. But still I learned a lot more in those classes then I did in any other classes, it also got me to love math and literature.

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well.. I am sure vector has exposed his child to computers from an even earlier age. The question/issue with this is not the idea of them knowing how to use a computer, but from my standpoint is the idea of if it is a good thing in the long run as far as their impact/awareness/etc of computing.

I will say that I was exposed to computers early on, and it definitely struck techno-lust within me everytime I got a chance to touch one when I was little, but that was me, and I was not exposed that that much.

Alot of childeren these days dont even care about computers because they have been around them for so long, and it doesnt matter what they can do with it because they just dont have any interest in it. I have seen this many times myself, but at the same time I am sure vector is SHOWING his child what to do and how to use it, and what other things you can do besides just myspace.

BTW, (not accusing anyone here of this) but I absolutely HATE it when people just plop their kids in front of a TV/COMPUTER/SOME OTHER FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT just to get them out of the way. and then wonder why their kid is dumb as heck later on... ok. I caught myself on this one, im going to walk away from it before I have a 20pg post on what makes me mad about how people treat their kids.

Either way, you can expose kids to computers and things of that nature to encourage them to learn and expand their horizons for the greater good of their own education or anything for that matter, even art but when it comes to groups of kids from all walks of life there is just not one exact way of enabling them with compuers all at the same time.

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theres nothing wrong with letting a kid have his own computer at any age. just like any other toy. which for me thats mostly what computers are, theyre toys. sure they have practical uses, but for the most part my computers are toys, entertainment devices, communication devices etc. so when someone says its not a good idea to give a 3 year old a computer of his own without backing it up is just ignorance. my son will be the only kid in 2nd grade that can build his own gaming rig. technology is the future and when my son is in 7th grade you can bet your ass they will use electronic devices exclusively instead of textbooks, as you can see by the topic of this thread its already starting. i plan to give my son the best head start he can have. so until any of you who say its not a good idea actually have a child of your own and see their interest in computers because they see you working on them and using them, then you have no room to talk or comment about.

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