It is useful to consider the advantages that laptop
computers provide in the learning environment, especially in comparison
to desktop computers.
helps students use technology.
are lightweight and can operate on batteries.
can be passed among students, moved around the classroom, carried in
school and on field trips, and taken home.
fit in backpacks and can be carried anywhere.
data sharing and processing by students.
can share a laptop and take turns to view, input, and analyze data. Individuals
or groups can transfer information using filesharing programs and/or wireless
connectivity. Students at different locations can interact through email
or videoconferencing, using wireless connectivity among computers, or
a modem. Laptops provide ready access to Internet resources, even in the
field, using wireless remote access. The ability to process and graph
data immediately allows students to check estimates and make decisions
about the next step of an activity in the field or laboratory. The flexibility
of laptops lets students take more ownership in learning—ownership which
is key to effective education and positive self-esteem.
Laptops have similar
advantages for teachers.
the classroom, teachers can connect laptops to monitors or overhead projectors
to give multimedia presentations, clarify assignments, and review procedures.
can use laptops to record and organize notes on individual student progress.
can use the computers in conjunction with digital cameras to record
events for later student assessment.
facilitate communication between students and teachers: using a laptop
at home or in the field, students can submit assignments or questions
via email or wireless connectivity.
As you review
the exemplary lessons selected in the 1999 Toshiba/NSTA Laptop Learning
Challenge, you will find ways that laptop computers have been key to the
success of the learning experience. Below is a partial list of examples.
of Laptops in the 1999 Laptop Learning Challenge Lessons
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