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Computers for Grade 8 and 9 in Classrooms

Introduction

Langdon School continues to use digital device technology in our Grade 8 and 9 classrooms. This initiative has proven to be very successful with students developing advanced 21st Century skills in a ubiquitous environment. The digital device technology is used in this environment as a tool for learning, in which students access their course material through an online learning environment called Moodle and have 24 hour access to their learning materials. Teachers and students work in this blended learning environment to provide engaging inquiry based learning experiences that enable students to experience real world opportunities.

In the first week of September, and every day thereafter, every grade 8 and 9 Langdon School student will be asked to bring a laptop to school to support his/her learning.

Best System Ideas

Laptops (Mac, PC, or Chromebooks) are strongly recommended as devices of choice for this initiative.

Criteria:

Have a full QWERTY keyboard for typing;

Be capable of playing Adobe Flash content;

Have installed Office Productivity software (Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentation) such as MS Office, Open Office, Polaris Office 3, or iWork;

    Have wireless network capability.

    See the Recommended Software List below for required and recommended software.

    Recommended Software List

    Click here to go to our Recommended Software List page which contains links for software required under this initiative.

    What is the primary goal of this initiative?

    The key goal of this initiative is improving and enhancing student learning through the implementation of ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous computing makes use of a variety of digital devices and resources to engage students in critically analyzing information, creating new knowledge, communicating what they have learned, and choosing tools that are appropriate for a particular task.

    Why move in this direction?

    There has been a surge of research related to the role of technology in the daily lives of students. Dr. Sharon Friesen, a leading researcher in the area, believes five core principles must be followed to engage today’s “millennials”, a term used to describe the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s:

    • Effective teaching practice begins with the thoughtful and intentional design of learning that engages students intellectually and academically.
    • The work that students are asked to undertake is worthy of their time and attention, is personally relevant,
    and deeply connected to the world in which they live.
    • Assessment practices are clearly focused on improving student learning and guiding teaching decisions and actions.
    • Teachers foster a variety of interdependent relationships in classrooms that promote learning and create a strong culture around learning.
    • Teachers improve their practice in the company of peers.

    Surrounding and infused into each of these five core principles is the effective use of the technologies. It is undeniable that the face of education and the role of technology are changing rapidly.

    How does this initiative align with the school’s mission and learning principles

    Langdon School's mission and vision statement speaks to preparing students for the future and using as many different tools as needed to give them the skills they will require.  This is supported both by the Province and by the RVS.

    How will this project get laptops into the hands of all students?

    The minimum standard is either a Mac or PC laptop with Word processor, browser capability and usb port, but as computing devices evolve, that minimum standard will change. For students who can’t afford a laptop, the school will have a loan/rental system whereby student's can rent a laptop for a non-refundable cost of $100.00.

    Will students that already have laptops be able to use them for the initiative?

    At this point in time, standards set for student laptops include existing student equipment. However, if specialized functions are required for a specific course, such as video editing and storage, a current student owned computer might not be adequate. In such cases, the school will have available computers for these specific purposes.

    How will the students be able to power/charge their units for a full day's usage?

    Langdon School students will need to be proactive in charging their machines daily at home. We will be supplying power charging sources should students need them.

    How will computer theft be addressed?

    Langdon School strongly recommends parents insure their student’s computer through home insurance. As with all possessions brought to school, it is important for students to keep their valuables secure by keeping them in their locker. Additionally, there are options that help track to whom the machine belongs. Permanent identification of the machine via engraving is recommended.

    Does each school have the infrastructure to support 250+ laptops?

    RVS experts continue to assist the school to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to support the increase in technology.

    What other technologies will be used through this initiative?

    Many classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and/or projectors. These tools will be used regularly as a teaching tool. The schools also use Plone technologies, which serves as a powerful tool to post important information for both students and parents.  Moodle, Google Docs, research, online testing tools, text to speech, premiere tools, and more are used to create universal learning environments.

    Will parents be charged extra fees?

    Outside of the purchase of a laptop for your child, no additional fees will be charged for this initiative.  If students are not able to to get a laptop, please chat with our school tech about receiving one from the school.

    Will this initiative be evaluated?

    Theoretically, the implementation of One-to-One ubiquitous computing technology should lead to improvements in academic performance, increased student motivation, increased competency, and effective utilization of technology. In Langdon's past, the One-to-One program created much of the research we use today in our schools.  We know this works by experience.

    What is the plan to communicate with the stakeholders?

    Through the use of our parent teacher interviews, website, letters home, email, and School Council, we will be in constant contact with you concerning your student’s progress. Parents and students will be asked to monitor student performance on Power School. Assignments and tests will be posted on teachers Moodle pages to ensure open communication. It is also recommended students share their Moodle Logins with their parents to enable them to be aware of important academic dates.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    Please contact the Langdon School office and talk with our secretaries. They will direct your questions and concerns to the appropriate people.

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