Which Teachers Should get a T1 Laptop? 26 June, 2009Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, technology.
Tags: 1:1, classroom, education, education revolution, laptops, Laptops4Learning, NSWDET
The initial rollout of Laptop Computers as part of the New South Wales Digital Education Revolution is pretty clear-cut when it comes to students – ALL year 9 students will get one this year. But when it comes to teachers, the T1 rollout sees high schools receiving enough to cover only one-third of their staff. This begs the question, which teachers should get a T1 Laptop?
Now I don’t run a school and I’m not even a teacher, but here’s what I’d do with the laptops and how I’d decide which teachers get them.
- Allocate ALL but two or three to specific teachers (i.e. exclusive individual use, NOT shared). The two or three are the only ones shared. If you allocate most of your laptops to be shared then you are wasting a major opportunity because part-time or infrequent access is not the way to develop skills in any of your staff.
- At least one laptop per faculty, but depends on how many you get and staffing numbers. All departments in your school must understand they have a part to play from day one.
- As principal, I would email all my staff (I wouldn’t tell them I was emailing though), requesting expressions of interest for exclusive use of a laptop:
– How would you use it?
– What would you hope to achieve?
– How will you commit to sharing what you’ve learned?
- I would judge each application on merit as well as how long it took to get back via email/follow-up. I would want keen existing-ICT users only to apply. There is little point giving a T1 laptop to a beginner. Sure, they might slowly develop their own skills, but they’ll offer little to the rest of their colleagues. We need educational-technologists to blaze the trail for everyone else to follow.
By doing it this way instead of just randomly handing them out, I would avoid complaints of favouritism, seniority or any other non-merit based process. All teachers would have the same opportunity to apply for a laptop, and getting one in the T1 round is clearly seen is a privilege that comes with expectations that:
- You would commit to developing your own skills with the laptop
- You would develop educational programs to use with the laptops in class
- You would share what you’ve discovered.
If you can’t guarantee these three things from the teachers you hand them out to, then you shouldn’t be handing a T1 Laptop out to them.
What do you think? How is your school handling T1? Will it work?