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Laptops instead of textbooks

  1. Aug 20, 2005 #1

    Kerrie

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    High school trades textbooks for laptops-CNN

    Now I really wish I was in school again! I remember lugging those huge books in my backpack and how much my back and shoulders would hurt. The article specifically states that those in support of laptops don't want to eliminate books, but this method helps link kids to more information in the web.
     
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  3. Aug 20, 2005 #2

    cronxeh

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    I dont think laptops really belong in the classroom, or that even a book belongs there. Books are for home studying, whereas in the classroom (especially in High School setting) you are 'broken in' for the first time and introduced to the new material. Any distraction will guarantee to have the student left with voids in knowledge. At HS level they should engange in problem based learning and by seeing the new material and talking about it and doing problems the students will learn more.

    Besides I know darn well that the students who have laptops in class almost always use it for something else. There are aims going on, googling, watching anime and other distractions. If you go to a 40 minute class you better make damn sure you spend 99% of your time actually acquiaring new material. On average this percentage is about 80 - depending on the teacher, and with introduction of laptops this number will surely go down to 50.

    Expect more of the D students from such recourse. Hey maybe the next President will be from Arizona :rolleyes:
     
  4. Aug 20, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    I don't know about that cronxeh. Here's what the article has to say on things like IM use.

    Sounds like it might crack down more on those who have previously gotten away with this stuff because they are more computer saavy than their peers.

    Also interesting, but not surprising to me considering my experiences with college students is this:
    I wonder if there's a way to set up the intranet at the school so that a monitor on the teacher's desk could show small windows of what each student has up on their computer? The obvious reason I ask is that it would allow the teacher to quickly see if the students are "passing notes" rather than doing their assignments, but it would also allow them to watch progress as students are working through an in-class assignment to see if they're all getting stuck at a certain step or something like that.

    On the other hand, cronxeh, I also agree that one really shouldn't even have to lug their textbooks to class every day. Just bring your notebook and your full attention. Once in a while it is helpful to use books in-class (such as for reference when students are working through a lab assignment, or doing a group reading exercise), but most of the time, kids just lug the books around and never open them until it's time to do homework. It seems teachers could make it a lot easier on the students if they let them know that most days they can leave the book at home for studying and doing their homework and they'll let them know a day ahead if they should bring the book to class for something.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2005 #4

    dduardo

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    1) Laptops don't belong in the classroom because they are a distraction. Kids are going to be playing on the laptop instead of listening to the teacher.

    2) Textbooks don't belong in the classroom because teachers should be lecturing and using the blackboard. Students shouldn't be doing book work in class. That's what homework is for.

    3) If they are trying to elminate printed textbooks they should allow kids to download the books in pdf format at home. The only place where students should be using textbooks is at home for further reference or homework assignments.

    4) The only way I would get the books in pdf format is if they are considerably less than $50.00, which is approx what I pay for each of my textbooks through half.com in brand new condition.
     
  6. Aug 20, 2005 #5
    I intend to always use books when I go to Uni in september
     
  7. Aug 20, 2005 #6
    Hmm most of my classes had a class set of books if we needed them, while in K-12. I am not sure how it would be to use a computer for everything, sometimes it would seem nice, but personally I like the ultra freedom of pencil on paper.

    edit... Also I would rather have a physical (paper) textbook instead of a file on my computer. Hmm, maybe both actually. I have to think about that one. I would definitely prefer a paper novel as opposed to reading one on a computer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2005
  8. Aug 20, 2005 #7

    Evo

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    They can set up the laptops so that there are no games, no instant messaging, very restricted internet access, etc... They can even set them up within a school intranet and allow no access to the public internet. I think that might be the wisest solution. They can load the appropriate information that the students need to research on the intranet.

    I think it's a good idea. I don't see completely doing away with books though, I see adding the computer as an enhancement, not a replacement.
     
  9. Aug 20, 2005 #8
    but you can still msg using the internal msging system can't you? via windows msging.
     
  10. Aug 20, 2005 #9
    You can uninstall windows messanger, but the computers that these students are using (in the story) are apples (ibooks I think).
     
  11. Aug 20, 2005 #10

    Monique

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    I rather have a piece of paper with information on it that I can make notes on and highlights, than a computer screen. Paper is easier to absorb information from, I always print pdf files.
     
  12. Aug 20, 2005 #11

    jcsd

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    [​IMG]
    "Today we learnt about oxbow lakes"



    It'll all end in tears I tell ya.
     
  13. Aug 20, 2005 #12
    They can be installed, or are these specially doctored computers which the students turn in at the end of the day or something? Mind as well just provide a screen and keyboard on everyone's desk that loads into a central computer hub. Much more secure and controllable. Plus it'll look way cooler.
    Ha!! You'll need to not include internet at all if you want any hope of being successfull at that.
    Ah, so everything they need is pre-loaded into the intranet so the kids never need to learn how to do actual research. Clever.
    I see no usefulness at all in this. Certainly not worth the cost, I'd rather my tax dollars not be spent on children's toys. I'm glad Canada isn't doing this... yet.
     
  14. Aug 20, 2005 #13

    JamesU

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    it's called hacking and its not that hard
    I agree :smile:
     
  15. Aug 20, 2005 #14
    Yeah, but you can't uninstall telnet. (except they're apples so they don't have that at all... they have some other equivalent)
     
  16. Aug 20, 2005 #15
    Yeah. Adults these days seem to severely underestimate how knowledgable the youth are becoming about Computers. If you give them all free computers they will be exploited in any way they can

    (and believe me, they can.)
     
  17. Aug 20, 2005 #16

    dduardo

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    That's exactly what I do. My professors provide pdf notes before class and I print them out. If there is anything additional or any clarifications I write it directly onto the notes during class. When I get home I stick the notes in a 3-ring binder and repeat the process. There is no need to carry books back and forth.

    I find that giving students notes before class is very effective because I can read the notes beforehand, come to class with actual questions in mind, and absorb any additional material that the professor gives during class.
     
  18. Aug 20, 2005 #17

    Monique

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    Exactly, the same with giving a printout of the powerpoint presentation. That way you can write extra notes on the slides and highlight the important ones. I'd never give a digital copy of a powerpoint presentation to a student, they'll mindlessly copy the files for their own presentations.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2005 #18

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, they said iBooks. I'm not sure how they expect to stop the kids from installing stuff on them though. You can set an administrator password on them that is required for installation of any new software, but I've found ways around those myself (the IT guy who set up the computers in the lab I'm about to leave left and never told anyone what the administrator passwords were).

    I too have always preferred written notes. I like to add diagrams and arrows to connect thoughts too, so it's not just a matter of typing instead of writing. I just don't think the kids are going to learn very well if they're looking at a computer screen instead of the teacher.
     
  20. Aug 20, 2005 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    I do the same thing. In fact, one thing that I struggle with here at PF is missing information from posts, or even entire posts. Sometimes I just miss things; its almost like there's a blind spot getting me. But this never happens with paper. I always print out long programs to debug serious problems. Its a real pain to print out, but in addition to the fact that I miss things on the screen, the ability to make notes and such is very helpful.
     
  21. Aug 20, 2005 #20

    Moonbear

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    This works well with graduate students, okay for some undergraduates, but terribly with high school students. Graduate students know the importance of writing their own notes and realize they are only being provided an outline to save them some time in their note-taking, some undergrads have learned that too, but most just think everything they need is on the handout and don't write anything more if you provide copies (someone told me they had provided notes with fill-in-the-blank spaces with information they revealed during the lecture, and actually had someone come up after the class and ask for a copy of the filled-in version...they hadn't written anything down themselves!). For high school students, this is a complete disaster. If you give them a handout, not only do they expect it to be a complete set of notes and not write anything, but they don't necessarily pay attention to the lecture either. You have to keep in mind the level of the student when deciding what to provide them in notes and what to expect them to write for themselves.
     
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