Laptops in the hands of our student present an enormous array of opportunities for learning. They also present several significant challenges that we must work to overcome, especially for those of us who are relatively new to a one-to-one learning environment. There are several things that a teacher can do to maximize the potential for learning and minimize the challenges.
These questions are the critical first step in defining what you use and how you use it. As you plan your instruction, consider how you’re using the technology. The SAMR model by Dr. Puentedura can help elucidate the different ways we can use technology in learning.
Spacing and Timing
The deployment of technology in time and space in a lesson can eliminate a lot of distraction and maximize the learning.
Time the technology so that it doesn’t “compete” with other activities. Maybe that means starting with large group discussion and then breaking out into small group work with the laptops. The leave the laptops in the bag until they actually need them.
It’s also important consider the spatial arrangement of the room. When students are working in groups, do the all need to be on their laptops or can you do three or four students to one computer. As Sugata Mitra points out, it can be really effective way to learn with a group of people around asking questions and giving encouragement to the person driving the computer.
A great post was written by Bianca Hewes on Edmodo about matching the physical arrangement to the learning goal in both online and offline learning activities. She advocates for three spaces, though I think you could easily come up with more: The Campfire – a place to learn from experts or storytellers. A place for whole-group discussions, The Watering Hole – a space for small group discourse and collaboration, The Cave – a space for individual study, reflection, quiet reading and creative flow.
Share your screen
Share student screen
Control Web access
Control App access
Take over student computer