When the program first started there were plenty of skeptics and naysayers. Looks like they were wrong.
According to my brother who lives in Maine, many parents have also purchased Macs after seeing their children's laptops. Parents love having access to their child's progress and ongoing dialogue with their teachers via online communication.
I gather Maine jumped right in and changed they way educate the students with new technology. Even the children who were slower learners or just not interested in school are now engaged in a way they never were before. The kids are learning in a fun way now.
Obviously, there's something to that "An Apple a Day" saying. There were daze when I figured we'd always be the minority. Not that it mattered, their loss, not ours. Now? There are daze when I'm sure that the better product will actually rule. Especially when you consider the shambles that MS has become the past two years.
Extraordinarily satisfying, isn't it? And, really, it actually does matter now, because it comes down to kids and the opportunity and experience they can have. Humongously satisfying.
_________________________ I always deserve it. Really.
i have just started a project to evaluate a local school district's new 1-to-1 laptop initiative. i'll be evaluating their program for the next 3 years. unfortunately, they are using Dell laptops. however, i am excited because they are going open source for the software and they'll use Google Docs in school. but Maine certainly lead the way to help provide the justification for all of these other programs. kudos to Maine.
I mean if your going to evaluate something I don't think Dell -vs- Dell is a good comparison ? let alone evaluating software <-- is that what this program is ?
Seems to me if you want to find a best education "tool" you explore other means not just Dells as a test bed and not just open source either ?
Just my 2 cents
my evaluation is related to the teaching and learning; not a specific software or tool. they are going to include software like: Open Office, GIMP, Audacity, Goolge Earth and Sketch, etc. and the high school kids will get Adobe Creative Suite, which boggles my mind as that can't be cheap. iLife is great stuff, no doubt. however, most teachers in grade 6 - 12 would likely never use that stuff (any more than most of them will ever use GIMP or Adobe Creative Suite, i'd guess).
I think you're wrong about using the iLife stuff. From what my brother has told me it's used extensively. Apple trained all the teachers in both OS and iLife usage and they provide workshops to keep them up to date.
Sorry, don't know all the in's and outs about their education programs. I gather though it is very different than most school districts. Maine hasn't just handed the kids a computer. It's a whole new way of learning.
An example my bro told me about was very cool. They get the students to film a science experiment that they work on. Then they put together a slide show or DVD with the explanation of the different steps and conclusions. Seems to me this would really get them involved on a whole new level.
"Maine’s laptop program has had other positive effects. From the beginning of the program, class attendance rose and detentions dropped.
The reason: The laptops seem to better grip the attention of 7th- and 8th-graders, who are tech-savvy multi-taskers. Three-quarters of Maine’s middle school students say they like school more since getting their own laptops, according to a study by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute.
having educated and advised thousands of teachers over the past decade, i know for a fact that the vast majority of teachers don't use computer technology much beyond word processors and web browsers . . . and, even the majority of teachers rarely do that. i would be surprised if more than 2% of Maine teachers were using iLife on anything close to a regular basis.
iMovie requires video cameras and it takes so much time to shoot halfway decent video. but shooting doesn't even compare to the time it takes to edit the video. how can a math teacher or science teacher justify not teaching the math curriculum while students spend those hours shooting and editing video? and iDVD is really only useful once you've shot and edited video.
i think iLife is great for personal use. i think the students can do stuff individually that makes iLife quite useful -- particularly iPhoto. but most teachers aren't going to find a use for it in anything approaching their regular teaching.
perhaps many teachers are using iLife and perhaps the state has figured out a good professional development program to help support teachers in this regard. i just haven't seen anything in the research and i am not finding anything to suggest this is the case with the Google searches i've just tried. i hope what your brother is seeing isn't an anomaly as i'd love to believe that it's true.
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