Arguing that schools must technically prepare the students for this 21st century is quite hard. Parents want their children to be equipped for a good college, and labor market wants students and grads with best skills and knowledge. The society we are living in is rapidly becoming global, and terms like “digital divide” has put school districts on the defense, in the whole world. None of the schools wants to be classified as an institution which doesn’t equally provide technology for students, across all the social and economic groups. One-to-one computing is rapidly spreading and schools are looking for additional ways to positively influence students’ learning process and their achievements. There are two main methods to equip the students: offering them laptops for school only or allowing them to take the devices at home for personal use.
Nowadays, a computer or a laptop is an essential equipment for all students in their studies. While technology is facing a continuous growth process, the references to Internet are also more and more used in the teaching process, so the need of a laptop is rapidly rising. This is especially true with colleges, such as Belhaven University, which requires students to do work primarily from home Not all students can afford purchasing a personal laptop, this is clear, because even the cheapest laptop may seem expensive for a poor student. Most students are aiming to get a free laptop as a base of their studies.
Students in all levels of education, colleges, high schools and even middle schools access the Internet for their assignments, and moreover, there might be institutions which have an internal network, accessible to all the teachers in that institution, and more important, to all of their students. Internet is not always the best source of information, but for sure it is the most convenient one, as compared to the school library. Internet is slowly becoming a vast necessity for all students, and let’s face it: it is the biggest library ever. You can find anything on Internet. Students love using Internet for the learning process and also they can satisfy their curiosity on particular topics.
This tremendous need for laptops by individuals, and in our case, the students, proves that the need of technology is extreme. Schooling institutions offer laptops to their students, but this matter becomes important for organizations and companies which can also provide laptops for students. The organizations realized that their help is needed by students who don’t have the financial resources for buying a laptop, and somehow, this is a great opportunity for companies to be generous and charitable.
Interesting educational philosophies have emerged in the last decades, and the main tendency is to believe that the students don’t have to know the facts, but they must know how to access them. The teacher becomes the facilitator who guides the students in this information access process. This interesting philosophy says that the educational process should follow the 20-80 rule, as in teachers teaching 20% and students learning 80%. A leading consultant on laptops in schools, Alan November, considers that the best way for students to learn according to this philosophy is to connect them to the Internet.
There are some problems rising in this virtual classroom system, and the most important one is that students, using a computer at school, will be assaulted by pornography. they already get in touch with it all over the place, at home, at school (but at lower levels), when they are with their friends, at TV, in magazines, and so on. CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) requires schools to use filters in order to block Internet pornography, but for sure these filters don’t stop evil minds to find out ways of coming in the back door. A lot of christian parents and not only them are concerned that schools will be invaded with pornography, and if they allow students taking the laptops home, the invasion is imminent.
If we follow Alan November’s solution, then textbooks will be online in this century, but this is not necessarily a good thing: parents will have difficulties in monitoring the sources used by the teacher in the teaching process, and also the results of their children. It is very important for school districts to purchase some e-mail systems or online management systems which allow a flawless communication between students and teachers.
On the surface, laptop initiatives look great, and technology itself is not a bad thing at all, but a balanced classroom, with focus on the curriculum, but enhanced by technology is much better than a virtual classroom. Behind the appearance of a good intention, the dark side of pornography, changes to classroom structure and money pit hide very easily. This virtual classroom, and of course, “a laptop for each student” programs require a strong financial base, taking into account that the expenditures are multiple. A lot of money are required for the laptop itself, which is absolutely necessary, then an infrastructure is required, and upgrades for it too, continual upgrades must be done from time to time, and when the computers become obsolete, they must be replace, and the batteries need replacement too, and you can’t actually work only with hardware: software is necessary too, and this includes tutorials and online management systems for teaching.
If you are a student are you have been looking for free laptops you might have come up disappointed several times. These free laptops can’t actually be found around every corner, but there are some possibilities to get something like this. Here are some tips to get a better idea of what you have to do to get a free laptop. First, you should pay attention around the campus you live/study in, and you will find a flyer or a bulletin with posts about free laptops. Usually, companies which offer free laptops stick up these things in student centers and near the department offices. You could also apply for an educational grant that includes an allowance for student expenses, and most of the time these expenses will include a laptop too.