02 September 2008

What do we need to learn about using computers?

Hello English 10 students.

Throughout the school year, you will be using this site to review information, share ideas, and complete assignments. To help make that work in class, we also will be regularly using a class set of laptops. It is my hope that by using these computers, the educational experience in English 10 will be broadened.

However, not everyone has shared the same positive experiences when it comes to using laptops. We've read about one school, in Liverpool, N.Y., which has decided to scrap its initiative to issue laptops to all students. The plan, the school officials say, did not lead to improved learning. Here is the link to that article for your reference. The publicity about what happend in Liverpool also prompted many people in education to think harder about the best way to use laptops in the classroom. In response to Liverpool's decision, one educator criticized schools for giving up on technology so easily.


I want you to think about the issue and help us craft a set of classroom guidelines for the use of the laptops and computers in class. As a writing assignment, make suggestions about what we can do in F14 to get the best use out of the laptops. How should we use them in class? What should we be using them to learn? What guidelines do we need? What would you suggest the teacher do to make the most out of the laptops? Post your response in the comment section of the blog. Write your answer in a few paragraphs, using complete sentences and proper grammar. Sign your first name (no last names) and class period after your posting.

photo credit: NY Times, published May 4, 2007

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Learning Is a Great thing, Indeed Very important to be a well rounded person. So you need to be Creative and Open Minded about it.

I think it was a good idea, Didn't quite Work, But certainly Worth the time. The Laptops didn't Improve Grades, so they became more a Burden Then A Asset.

its Nice to see that Schools are taking the time to Improve Young Minds and Thoughts.

Jake Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a good idea to use laptops because they are alot easier and faster then to take notes. I also think that they will work good for us and improve our learning as long as no one looks up porn or anything and just focuses on what we need to be doing on them.

*tessa* p2.

Nando said...

I think the best way we could use the laptops is using them for writing essays if you give us time in class, take notes, and outline. In doing so it will help us with gramatical errors, hand from hurting, and saving time (if faster typer). I personall would enjoy it because it would save me a lot of time and my hand writing isn’t the greatest. Even though the kids at the other highschool (Liverpool) didn’t see an improvement, I think us as a class could use the computer to better us greatly. I think it’s a teachers job to monitor the kids on the laptops but at liverpool the whole school had them all the time so to monitor them it wouldn’t be verry possible. Us on the other hand it would be easy to monitor in a confined space.

Nando
Period 2

Anonymous said...

I think that the laptops should only be used for research and essays. They could make sure that the students were using the laptops for the right reasons by checking on the students. I agree what the school in Liverpool did because the students were not using the laptops properly. I think a good rule is that the laptops and computers for only schoolwork.


Randy- Period 2

Anonymous said...

I think that the best way to get good use out of the laptops in our classroom would be to use them minimally for larger more time consuming projects. If we overuse the laptops in the class then most likely people will become bored with them and focus more of slacking off and not paying attention. Also I think we should use them for reading larger articles that would be difficult to print. The guidelines for the laptops should be to use them when you are told and only when you are told and to take responsibility for whatever your actions are if your do choose to not pay attention.

Margaret P5

Anonymous said...

In english it is fortunate that we can use these laptops. I think that we should use them for research and typing papers and outlines as much as we can. It is quicker to type and more efficent as there is a spell check. Also if you have writers cramp or suffer from carpal tunnel it is a lot easier to type then write. I think that we should use them to research, backround on non-fictional books we read and also for information on topics that we are writing about. I think the guidelines that we need would be to stay foucused and only reasearch what we are suppost to be doing. It is in our own best interest that we are doing what we were told to do.
In order to make the best out of the laptops I think that our teacher should let us use them as much as possible since they are more efficient for everyone. I also think that our teacher should let us use the laptops to start papers on in class, this way we can ask questions and get answers immediately. Overall I think that we are lucky we have the laptops as one of our resources and we should make the best of them by using them.

*jessica b* per.5

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a very good strategy, having laptops in the classroom. I know that laptops are helpful to me because I’d rather be typing than writing everything down. I also think that having laptops in class is very helpful, considering that you will always have access to the computer, information over the net, and being able to get into saved work on the computer while being in class.

Taylor- Period 2

Dan said...

We should use laptops in class to find information on what we are learning or for assignments that we can do in class. Getting the work done helps people focus on other classes and homework assignments, so it is good to be able to do work in class. The guideline we need is that we can’t go on sites that have nothing to do with the assignment. The teacher should make sure that no one is doing what they are not supposed to and to stay on track. Laptops will be very helpful to the class and I believe that it is a good idea.

Dan L. Period 5

Anonymous said...

I think you should check every ones computer before we leave this class. It will make it easier to kept track on the computers that way no one else will get introuble because of some one else. Also i think to get the best use of the laptop we should have an assignment once every two weeks or once every week. We should take care of our computers, like makeing sure there are no drinks or food that can mess up the computer. We should learn many thing about the things that are coming up. Such as a project next week, so we can get some background and some good information about the project. This will let us all have a good grade on this project or assignment. Some guidelines should be that we should not go on other sites or we'll get detention after school for 2 days or so. This will let people see you are real about the law of the school. You should give a good amount of work on this labtop because in the future we will have to use them in college. I will like to learn more about the computer and neat shortcuts. This will help us get all the work done faster and better.


Jovanny

Anonymous said...

I think that having every kid get a laptop for school wasn't a good idea. I think because they are distracting. I know that when I am doing work on the computer i have to X out everything else to pay attention. Also, it costed a lot of money to repair the laptops that the students broke. They might have been broken when they weren't even doing something school related. We should only get laptops when we have something assigned to do on them, like a paper to write.

Leanne

Anonymous said...

i think laptops should be used in classes to write essays because laptops are easyer and faster then going to a computer lab. Its alot easier to teach in a class room with laptops instead of going to a computer lab. The guide lines for using laptops should be not to go on a website you're not suppost to .As long as no one gets distracted, and doesn't do things that their no suppost to do then it will make learning easier.

Sara; Period 5

Anonymous said...

The best use s to aloow students to chose what to use and allow laptops to be used in situations that it can be easier. We should use them in writing assignments that it is needed to be perfect and redone multiple another. They should be using them to write and type and be used to look up information that can help the person with there work. Guide lines that should be used are to allow websites to be viewed but with guide lines blocking sites that give virues and the history of websites should be saved and montured by the teacher to keep track of the students. The teacher should use them a lot and allow students to use different programs to show how laptops can be used to help and not take advantage.
Brian S. period 5

Anonymous said...

I personally like the fact that we are being given the chance to be able to use laptops in our English 10 class. There is a multitude of ways in which we could use them in class such as simply typing notes or papers instead of writing it out on pen and paper. Also it would make researching topics for in class assignments or even to be able to get a head start on homework. As for what we should be using them to learn again it could be many things but mainly it will help our typing skills and possibly grammar. Next there are the guidelines that we should have to follow when using laptops and they should be the obvious rules such as not breaking or damaging the laptops or only using them for the proper work pertaining to the class and be on the appropriate websites. As far as suggestions I have for the teacher to make the most out of the laptops this year I would have to say that it would be nice to use them at any time throughout the class for writing essays or notes, and if we had free time if we could use them to do work in other classes to get a head start on homework or projects in another class. And with all this I think the laptops will be big help in English 10 this year.
Michelle Elizabeth. 5

Anonymous said...

I think that the students weren't using there computers the right way and they should have gotten there computers taken away from them. we should use them in class by the right way. we should be using them for writing and school work not other things. the guidelines we need are to tell students to only do work on the computers. I would tell the teacher that the kids should use laptops for work.

ian period 5

Anonymous said...

I think if we use laptops in clas it will expand the way we learn. we would be able to take notes faster and that would mean we would have more time to cover other things in the class. It would also save ink and paper because yo wouldnt have to print anything because the studnets could just read them online theirselves. also think that e should nto be able to fool around unless we are told to do so.

Mark B P5

Anonymous said...

For using the computers in class I suggest that if they are not using the laptops the way they should be they should get it taken away. The laptops should only be used for research and essay writing. The laptops should only be used for getting work done so you can worry less about it at home. I would personally enjoy using them to I can do what I can in class and access it ever where else with out having to carry it around.

chris P6

Anonymous said...

For using the laptops in English 10, and in any other class I think that we should use the laptops very carefully. I don’t think that we should be going on websites that don’t involve what we’re doing in school. We should just be doing schoolwork and homework. People can wait until they get home to go on the things they want to other than doing school work. We need to have everything blocked so that we can only use certain websites. I would suggest the teachers to use the laptops for doing class work, writing essays, and doing research on the things we’re talking about in class or find out more about the books we’re going to be reading in class.

Michaela, Period 6

Anonymous said...

The best way that we can use the laptops during class is to use them as a research tool, but there is a downfall to that and that is that people put their own information on the internet. There is another downfall to that and that is that people can go on other things that don’t have anything to do with school. We can also read articles in the news paper like the one about the laptops in school and how they handed out the laptops and had a fee. That way is better than handing out the articles to each student. It is also easier to bring the laptops to the room then have the whole class to go to the computer room.
Steven P6

Anonymous said...

I think that it was bad for the students to abuse the laptops. But, it’s not right to take laptops away for good. We need them to research topics and write papers. You shouldn’t punish everyone for what some kids are doing to the laptops. Having laptops in the classroom isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. Students should use the time wisely and not goof off. But it is really hard to get distracted with all the pop-ups and everything else. So that should be one of the guidelines, to make sure we’re not on any websites we’re not supposed to be on.

Jill P6

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that we shouldn’t be allowed to have our own laptops to use in all of our classes. What we should do is use them, but only for a couple purposes. One would be if we have to write an essay. It is much easier to type an essay rather then to just write one. Also, if we have to research something important, we should be allowed to use them then. Both teachers should walk around the room a couple times, just to make sure that no one is on a site that they shouldn’t be on. That way, if someone is goofing off, you will know.




Tory S. P6

Anonymous said...

I think we should use laptops in class when we have essays and other papers to write. Its easier and faster for us to get things done on a computer rather then writing on paper. But,I agree that sometimes laptops can be distracting. It's easy for kids to just bring up another internet page and search unrelated websites to what were doing in class. For our class the guidelines should be that we focus only on what we are supposed to be doing. If we abuse this, then the consequences are that we can't use the laptops anymore. The teachers should just watch over the kids carefully to make sure we're doing what were supposed to do. Laptops shouldnt be taken away.

Kristy Per 6

Anonymous said...

Laptops in class would be a lot easier to work with. They will be quicker with notes and a quick way to look up different things in class. Writing essays would be quicker and neater because they would be typed. As long as no one is being distracted with the different websites and looking up things they shouldn’t be, laptops shouldn’t be a real problem. There could be a contract to sign saying that until the work is done, than no other website should be up.

Jessica *P6

Anonymous said...

Learning Is a great thing, indeed very important to be a well rounded person. So you need to be creative and open minded about it.

Using laptops In class is quite an idea, risky like any innovative Idea, but a small risk is worth a good out come.
We should, only be using them for relevant classwork. Theres no reason to be screwing around on the internet when you’ve got an essay to write or test to study for.

That’s the drawback of laptops, a higher then average chance of people goofing off.
If we are going to be using laptops, a set of guidelines should be followed.
laptops are fragile, people should treat them with respect as they Aren’t cheap to replace.
Since laptops are a rather pricy alternative to paper and pen. the teacher shouldn’t neglect them, nor should he Rely on them, balance is key to any class.

Jake Period 6

Anonymous said...

They should have laptops because it would be easier to write papers and do other work. I think the issue of going on to other sites is all up to the teacher to watch the students. Also the school should have some websites blocked. Otherwise the laptops are a good thing.

ian t
pr 2

Anonymous said...

The laptops should be well used only for class assignments. We should be using them to learn school materials, do homework’s, projects, etc. In order to accomplish this student should respect and fallow the rules for the computer use. For his to work the teacher should not allow food near them. Also needs to know who has which computer so that if anybody damages a computer it is their responsibility and nobody else gets in trouble for that. At last I really think that we should have laptops in class it will make things much easier.
Carla 6

Anonymous said...

I think that in F14 if we just use the laptops when we absolutely have to then we wont run into the problems that the other school districts did. In class we should only use the laptops for research and typing purposes only. In class we should be using the laptops to learn how to use the internet to draw useful information so we can write better. When in class we should only be using the laptops for learning purposes only that way we can better ourselves as writers and researchers. I suggest that the teacher roams the class and makes sure everyone is on appropriate sites and is on task.

Josh Per. 5

Anonymous said...

I think that laptops are great for an English class. They can be used for taking notes and doing research for papers along with typing papers which is much faster than hand writing. Guidelines have to be set though so that the laptops will not be harmed. I think to make the most out of the laptops we should definitely use them for notes and research in class.

Sophie
Period 2

Anonymous said...

I think the laptops are very helpful to the students. The laptops would be use to good cause because students will want to all the time they can get in class for any papers or assignments to finish it. Every student would rather have no homework and so the laptops would be used for education. Also if someone has a question about something, they can ask the teacher in class and can get the answer right away, which is a huge help. Sometimes students tend to get off track and do other things that are non-school related, but there are things to help avoid that. You can let the students know that you will be checking progress say after 20 minutes so that students will have done their work. If they don’t you can simply take away the privilege of the laptops. Also there will me two teachers in the room so it’ll be easier to see who is doing their work and also easier for students to get help. Majority of the time students will use it to do their work so they have less to do at home if is assigned to homework. It is a good resource also to find things that will help them have a better paper.

Fardin

Anonymous said...

I think that laptops are a good idea for english class. It would help us get a lot of work done for the class & also save a lot of our work so we won't have to carry a lot of books everywere. The only thing you need to do to the laptops is not have anything that will distract us while we work because a lot of people especially our age get distracted easily. It would be much faster to get essays and papers done so we don't have to worry about them and for me that's a very good thing. we could also get information faster on the internet instead of looking in books or however else you can get information.

Briana M. Per 2

Anonymous said...

Having laptops for every student in our school is a bad idea. There are too many vandals and the school would just be wasting money fixing the laptops. Also not having laptops for everybody means that the school won’t have to track down students who don’t return their laptops. Having class laptops is good because it is easy to know who is using which computer. Also it is an easier and more efficient way to take notes. A punishment for fooling around on the laptops should be enforced.

Kevin P.6

Anonymous said...

In class we should use the laptops for research and writing papers. Also if we blog in class we should use them. it would be easier then going to the computer lab all the time. we should learn new learning techniques for English 10 and to learn about the books we read. the guidelines we need in class are that no one should be on site not dealing will the assignment. try to use them for the right way not other things.

Andrew p5

Anonymous said...

I think we should use the laptops with respect because it is a privilege to get to use them in class. We should use the laptops to learn how to look up information on what the teachers are asking you to do. The guidelines that we need are to make sure you don’t drop the laptop and that the antiviral is working. I would suggest the teacher use the laptop on all different projects and to make sure every one has a flash drive stick to save our work so that we can work on the projects at home.

Michele C. P.5

Anonymous said...

Technology is becoming a growing part of international education, especially in America. F14 is taking the initiative by providing laptops for English students. There are many ways to incorporate computers into the English lessons. Firstly, and most clearly would be for the use of writing papers on the computer. From here, papers on the computer allow for the sending of papers home and electronically sent to the teacher on the due date. Research papers can be conducted in a much less time consuming matter as all internet information is right there at the click of a button. At the same time, while there is the standard paper writing, there should be some education going along with the computers. Learning through programmed software and also free programs online, students may improve many skills from formatting specific letter types to typing skills. However, as learned from schools in the past, it is important to set specific guidelines and rules that go along with the laptop use. Computers can become an easy distraction with all that can be done online so it is essential to know what is permitted and what is not during a class period. Of course surfing the web for a new pair of shoes when you’re supposed to be completing a timed writing assignment, isn’t tolerable. Nevertheless, I believe that to get this undivided attention from a class, there needs to be an incentive for the students. For example, lying out from the beginning of the day, “We are going to be typing this paper” or “we need to be researching for the next 25 minutes” and set the goal of the day, but then state if the student completes the said assignment they do not need to immediately continue with busy work, but rather they are allowed to do whatever, within reason, on the computer until the bell rings. In the same light, maybe offering five minutes at the beginning of class to get the “online jitters” (sending out that last email, finishing the last paragraph of last periods homework etc) out would be an effective way to keep focused on the task at hand throughout the class. There are many solutions that may be formed to prevent misuse of class time and the computers, but kudos to F14 to taking the first step in making Branford High School a truly 21st Century learning environment.

Greg :: Period 5

Anonymous said...

I think we should use the laptops in class every time their is an essay or paper due so we have extra time to get it done. We should use them to find out information on a project or assighnment. The guidelines we should have is to only use the computers in class, and for class work or to work more on a assignment. To make the most out of the laptops we should be able to use them any time while were are in class.

Joe Period 2

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that laptops are a convenience in the classroom and all though the students in Liverpool saw no positive influence with them we will. I believe that it was a mistake to distribute them for an extended period of time rather than on a class to class basis. I think laptops should be used for writing essays, taking notes, making outlines and researching. This would definitely save time and ensure the location of documents in our class. Also, by using the laptops students would inadvertently be using them to help improve their spelling and even their grammar, as spell check helps them to recognize when something is wrong. Laptops are a convenience that should be utilized and so students should be using them to learn background information about our books which could help us better understand the book itself. In addition, they could be used to learn how to better set up essays and take notes.
Laptops could greatly benefit students if used properly and to ensure the effectiveness and safety of laptops I would set the following guidelines. Students should only be allowed to be working on the assigned work but should be able to go on any related websites. I do believe that the teacher should be watching to make sure all are cooperating and working adequately. I do not believe this will present an issue as we have a smaller sized class. Laptops should only be used for school related work regardless of the situation. Other guidelines I believe necessary are to be careful while handling the laptops, and that no inappropriate websites should be visited. In order to make the most of the laptops, the teacher should definitely use the laptops for all major assignments when class time permits, and use them for research or online activities when ever possible. Laptops should be used as much as possible. By the continued use not only are the laptops assisting students in their English but also in there technology skills. Teachers should always be watching students to make sure that they maintain there effectiveness and students are progressing. In conclusion, if utilized correctly laptops can become effective learning tools in the classroom and an asset to teachers.

Ella Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think we should use the laptops for some in class assignments and help us get class time to write up essays. It’s more important to use them a little as possible because they really have no other purpose but for essays. You really don’t need laptops in class except for as I stated before jump starts on essays. They will just become distractions in class and some kid will have trouble staying on task when they can just surf the web. As I said before I think the laptops should be used as little as possible.

Bryan Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think having the computers in our class will be helpful as long as everyone uses them the right way. During class we should be using them only to work on specific projects or assignments. If someone starts using their computer inappropriately then they should get a warning and after that they should loose their privileges. For the teachers to get the most out of using laptops they can try to find learning games online so some kids might get a little more interested in the subject. They should also try to see how much more research and studying we can do right in the class room without going down to the library and looking through a bunch of different books for your answers. Anything you're studying is right there on the computer. So I think having a computer in the class room could only make things a little easier for everyone.
Katrina :Period 2

Anonymous said...

In Branford high school we are given the oppertunity to use computers during class which is a very useful privilege that is offered. In a few classes the teachers have you sit on the opposite sides on your desk to make sure your doing the work assigned. I thought that was a very good idea considering that a select few might go to a different website other than the one assigned to go to. These laptops that are given to the students should be used to do the work assigned and really nothing else during class. If some students were to misuse the laptops then I think that they shoud get at the most two warnings the get the privilage taken from them for the rest of the class. If misusing continues they loose the laptop privilage for the rest of the week and will have to to the work elsewhere. I think that having computers in class is very helpful in class I get my work done when needed and most times get it finished in class so it's not needed to do at home which is a good thing for the most part of many students who don't need to do work at home. So I think that having laptops in class is a very useful priviledge for everyone in school.

Raquel:period 5

Anonymous said...

I think for F14 we should use the laptops as much as possible. We can type essays on it which is easier than writing because my hand doesn’t cramp. Also we can look up information , use spelling check and dictionary. We can use them to learn about current events going on than write about it , another thing we can do is blog on the internet. The guide line should be that the students should only use it for school work, and if they don’t use it then the computers can be taken away for a period of time and if the same problem keeps happening they can be taken away from the student for the whole year. To make the most of them, we should blog our essays and answers. The laptops are a very good idea because it helps us keep track of our work and let us look back at it a few years from now.


rory

Anonymous said...

Lap tops are an important asset to every classroom and can be used to help students get work done faster and more efficiently. They should be used mainly for class work and research on class related topics it is important to use sparingly enough so that we don’t become reliant on them. They should be used to learn either more about technology or anything specific to that class or any other information needed. I suggest that we use the laptops only to the extent that we need them so they aren’t over used or abused. That is what I think about having or using laptops in school and in class.
Donovan

Anonymous said...

Mr. Miller,
How did you get forty comments on this posting? Did you require your students to leave a comment or was it strictly voluntary?