My site leadership team wants to purchase a laptop for every teacher, but is meeting some resistance from district officials who feel that the money should be spent on student equipment instead. How can we resolve this issue?
Research that began in the mid 1990s shows that in order for teachers to make good use of technology as an instructional tool, they must first develop personal proficiency. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make the technology available to teachers at school and at home. A decade ago this usually meant allowing teachers to check out desktop computers over vacations. But today, issuing a laptop makes more sense because teachers have the option of using mobile technology wherever they choose, whenever they choose. It is important to note, however, that laptop programs that do not include ongoing training and support are less successful than programs that include these critical elements.
Does your leadership team have an implementation plan for this laptop program? If so, share this information with the appropriate district officials. If not, one needs to be developed and shared. The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology Web site includes a section on professional development and the importance of teacher use of technology at home. You can access this information at http://caret.iste.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=answers&QuestionID=27.
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