Several blogs and online newsletters today mentioned an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 31, 2006. Saying no the school laptops points out several objections, particularly from parents.
"What she learned was how to play games and email her friends," says one parent. "School was one big happy gabfest."
Another parent "says having a laptop has encouraged her thirteen-year-old son to spend more time dazzling up presentations with fancy fonts instead of digging through library books. 'They need to be able to learn to research beyond what is accomplished by Googling a word or phrase.'"
Actually, I think these comments point out (once again) the fallacy of the "If you build it, they will come" approach to instructional programs. Of course kids need to be taught how to use the laptops as tools--so do their teachers and parents!
The solution is not returning the laptop, or calling a halt to one-to-one programs. Rather, the solution is in digging in there and making a firm comittment to actually using the darned things!!!