US Schools Drop Laptops

May 4th, 2007

“After seven years, there was literally no evidence it had any impact on student achievement — none.”

So the idea that a laptop for every child improves their education turned out not to be true. At least that’s what they’re finding in America, according to an article published in the New York Times today.

“Laptops had been abused by students, did not fit into lesson plans, and showed little, if any, measurable effect on grades and test scores.”

The biggest problem seems to be that pupils are using their laptops in class to play games and as a portal to the Internet’s collection of exam answers, sample essays, social networking and pornography. When institutions attempt to apply security to stop this the students simply hack their way around and then tell everyone else how to do the same.

In my opinion the problem is not the laptop, it’s the software. Or to be more specific: it’s Microsoft’s fault for believing that Windows is the best solution for every environment. It’s not. Someone in the public sector could easily knock up an operating system specifically designed for use in schools that’s flexible enough for teachers to create innovative activities but doesn’t have the built-in ability to access the wider Internet or gaming. There’s no hack around that.

Plus wouldn’t it be a bit cheaper?

Read NY Times Article

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Entry Filed under: Improving Technologies


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