Laptop Initiative: The Backdrop
The decision to move to a 1:1 program at Blake was made after carefully examining a myriad of factors. For more than two years, Blake’s Technology Advisory Committee explored feasibility of such a program, reviewing various alternatives, programmatic sustainability and the impact such a program would have on teaching. The committee surveyed Blake families and parents of students in the Upper School’s current laptop pilot program, scheduled meetings with parents, met with PK-12 department chairs, Upper School faculty and other key subcommittees of the Board.
The benefits of implementing a 1:1 program for Blake students are many including (but not limited to):
- Improves Learning — Differentiated instruction can be more readily delivered when all students have a laptop.
- Efficiency and Flexibility — Homework assignments using technology (Moodle, Internet, specialty applications) can be given with the confidence that all students can accomplish this work at home, thus maximizing discussion and conceptual exploration during class-time. More face-to-face contact time with teachers is possible compared to time spent managing computer carts and moving to and from labs.
- Technology and Information Literacy Skills — Laptop ownership results in greater skill, comfort and confidence using technology including composition, research, data analysis, production, and understanding of ethical use of these tools.
- Textbook Evolution — We have already begun to incorporate interactive electronic-based content and “intelligent” online programs in place of some traditional textbooks. This can reduce the cost of classroom materials and the weight of backpacks.
- Provides an extension of classroom learning. All students are able to access remote files, school e-mail and school software from home thus eliminating compatibility issues.