Mac | PC | Both | Thinkpad | Thinkpad Side
p.s. however, my
Wireless song is heading to the top of the charts soon ;-)
Hello parents on noblesnet and parents on our internet mailing list
-- sent by blind carbon copy (the best way) --
Steve Bergen, Computer Coordinator
Here is the overview in text, which is less fun than the videos!
1) We are buying over 33 of these wireless IBooks and planning to go wireless in a big way next year at Nobles, primarily in class IV (ninth grade)
2) Ellie Newman -- whom some of you know -- will be teaching most of the sections of the class IV (ninth grade) Computer Proficiency course. Ellie will also be a class IV coordinator. For those of you who don't know Ellie, she is also the seventh and eighth grade computer teacher and has taught me more about scrapbooking than I will ever need to know.
3) Rachel Nance will be turning over the IBooks to parents after graduation by pre-arranged appointment between June 15 and August 15. Rachel will be the summer tech person at Nobles and has an e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org; she will give basic lessons and help to any parent buying directly from Nobles.
4) The wireless Apple IBooks come with a CD and wireless airport card, so it is an excellent deal, about $150 less than what you buy from MacConnection or MacWarehouse or another store.
5) If you want the DV model or CD Burning model, we are NOT standardizing on those and you will have to buy your own from MacConn or MacWarehouse or another store.
6) We are going into this class IV wireless push with our "eyes wide open" and will make adjustments as needed. To start out, we will have all sections of class IV HHC (History of the Human Community) be wireless, taught by Tom Daccord (who is doing it this way this year) and Alex Keenan-Gallagher. Three sections of Class IV English will be wireless, taught by Kate Boyle (who is doing it this way this year) and Sarah Snyder. Three sections of Geometry will be wireless, taught by Doug Guy and me.
7) We will have between 30 and 40 "Nobles owned" wireless IBooks stored in Ellie Newman's office on computer street dedicated for class IV usage. They will be wheeled on carts to the relevant classes each period. In fact, we in the computer department will be in better shape this fall than some of the Boston Celtics ;-)
8) We are encouraging parents of class IV students next year to think about making this purchase so that your son or daughter will own his or her machine and can bring it to school when desired. Ellie Newman's office will be set up as a fairly secure locked environment with the Larry Bird doll standing guard lest any pitino fans from Kentucky shows up to steal any ibooks ;-)
9) We already have wireless hubs all over campus and therefore these wireless computers will work from most buildings on campus. We will be installing more wireless hubs in September
10) if you want to BUY your own $1247 ibook with 128K RAM and an airport card for your son or daughter -- please send me a note in which you copy and paste the text below and send to me ... I will collate and organize the order to our rep at apple.com, working with the business office on the specifics. Please note that THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL ONE TIME ORDER that may or may not be repeated.
"as a Nobles parent of ________ who is in the class of ____ I would like to buy one of the ibooks that is exactly the same as the base model being ordered for usage by our class IV students next year: 128K meg of ram, airport card, base model CD, comes with Appleworks. I understand that the computer department will be turning this over to me and from then on, I will be on my own. I also understand that Steve Bergen was wrong in the first note and that Microsoft Office does NOT come pre-installed on this computer. I also understand that any help I get from the computer department will be no different than general computer help that a student or parent at Nobles gets, i.e. it is not the case that the computer department is setting itself up to be an authorized apple repair dealer ;-) "
While in class, students are constantly getting off task with their laptops. This is an ongoing issue as many of you with 1:1 programsalready know. We're thinking of putting mirrors in the back of every classrooms. Can anyone share any other solutions....?"Thomas Daccord-fac"
Here are some tips excerpted from a book I co-wrote:
"While a notebook and pencil, or a classroom window, offer significant opportunities for distraction in class, computers open a Pandora’s box of ways for students to ignore you and goof off during class. Here are some tips for keeping students focused when computers are in use.
Hold students accountable for staying on task: Students need to know that there are consequences for goofing off with their computers during class. Write up a contract in the beginning of the year and be prepared to revoke computing privileges if a student cannot responsibly use the machines.
Number each laptop and assign it. That way you can pull out a laptop from the cart after class and check the Internet history to see if a student was visiting web sites he/she was not supposed to. If the machine is damaged in any way you might know right away who damaged it.
Design your classroom or lab so you can watch screens: If possible, set up your classroom in a horseshoe so that you can view all student screens at once. Rows of computers can work too, although it can be difficult for students to see past each others monitors, and you will need to teach from the back of the room, behind students if you want to watch everything. If you need to set up your classroom into clusters of machines, or with a big cluster in the middle of room, then you may want to consider a piece of software such as Vision or Apple Remote Desktop. These programs allow the teacher to watch all of the screens in a classroom at once.
Move around and hover: Teaching in a computer classroom means teaching on your feet, moving around, checking in on every student and keeping them all on task. Assume that whenever you are not watching, they are surfing the Internet or playing Minesweeper.
Design activities that are challenging and engaging: The best way to keep students on task is to design activities that students are excited and challenged to complete in the allotted time. Give them high quality assignments and hold them accountable, and you stand the best chance of keeping them focused.
Provide different benchmarks for different students: For most tech activities, it can be helpful to have a main goal and then a secondary goal for fast-working students. For instance, if you want students to write on a topic, it might be worth also giving them a second topic to write on in case they finish early. If students find themselves with enough free time to start playing with the computer, it can be very hard to get them back on track.
Balance routine with variety: Since using computers as learning tools will take practice for you and your students, settling into a routine in the computer lab can help everyone get oriented. That said, if you overuse the same routine, students will lose some of their focus. Just as good teachers balance lecture, discussion, and projects in a normal classroom, teachers who use technology need to provide a variety of activities for students as well.
Academic Technology Advocate/History Teacher
Noble & Greenough School (Dedham, MA)