Teachers Thoughts On Student Laptops

At the start of the second semester, MPS distributed laptops to each high school student as a part of the ‘One-to-One’ initiative. MN received over 2,500 new laptops on Thursday, Jan. 5. After a month of working with the new technology, the majority of teachers have noted substantial educational benefits.
The Hoofbeat collected feedback from over 30 teachers. Their responses to the new laptops were overwhelmingly positive. Many teachers said that the laptops greatly increased accessibility for all students to have the same resources. Others said that it has become exponentially easier to distribute and find information, particularly when using Google Classroom. The world has become increasingly more digitized, and with the new technology, Millard is well on its way to staying in the times.
While most teachers’ responses to the new laptops were generally positive, they did identify a few problems that still need to be ironed out. The most common issue with the laptops is students getting distracted and off-task during class. Students are also occasionally forgetting their laptops or failing to charge them at home. Though the goal of the initiative was equal accessibility, a few students still do not have internet access at home.
Teachers are finding creative ways to solve these issues, but it will take an active effort of responsibility and collaboration on the side of the students. Students must be able to use their new technology for productive and academic reasons within school. Especially during class, students have a new obligation to restrain themselves from getting distracted.
Curriculum within classrooms is shifting to accommodate the new laptops. In terms of creativity, some teachers have already started innovating in and out of the classroom to engage the technology. It has become easier to input and analyze data on laptops in science labs. Language classes are using online tools to increase interactive activities. Approximately half the teachers we talked to had already implemented technology within the classroom before the laptops or had not made significant changes.
With new resources also comes new responsibilities. The laptops require students to learn how to separate their academic lives from their personal lives. As the one-to-one initiative began, the school also restarted a previously-used monitoring system through the district gmail domain.
“The foul language flagging is carried by a monitoring service that actively monitors your email account. If you sign up on twitter with your school account, that’s linked to the school domain and we can see that. We always say to keep that separate if you want to keep it away from the school. A lot of what we do is for anti-bullying reasons,” said Millard Technology Consultant Jeff Yost.
Since the school has the students’ best interest in mind, students should practice using their new laptops in mature and productive ways. The laptops are here to benefit Millard education and accessibility. Only with a combined dedication of effort from both teachers and students can we continue find success with our new technology.