image courtesy of www.apple.com
It's that time again. We have done this for the past six years in our school district for students in grades 6-12. Each one of our students gets a MacBook laptop to use for the year upon paying an insurance premium. What a privilege and responsibility to have as a middle schooler! I had a hard time remembering my locker combination in middle school and now we expect them to keep up with a laptop! Wow! Times have really changed. Many of our students take pride in their laptops and actually do take care of them. Sure there are some that get damaged, and accidentally dropped, but for the most part, a whole lot of our students are responsible. So, not only do they get an awesome technological education in being able to utilize a wonderful piece of equipment, they must also rise to the challenge of being a responsible preteen and teenager.
I can remember having a Speak 'n' Spell in middle school--and I had mine before E.T. made it popular, mind you. I thought that it was a genius machine.
Then my parents enrolled me in summer computer camps, where I wrote 4 & 5 line programs on the TRS(trash)-80 by Radio Shack.
What a treat it was to get to play Oregon Trail on the Apple IIE.
How far we have come! Many of today's preteens do not know what a floppy disk is. Our kids know about CDs, jump drives, and drop boxes though. They can put together a keynote with a gazillion transitions, pictures, and sounds in a skinny minute. They can use iPhoto and iMovie to create professional looking projects. They know how to do podcasts. I am not bragging, I am speaking the truth.
For the next 3 days, we will give 800 students their MacBooks and hope they can rise to the challenge of being responsible and take advantage of this superior, wonderful learning tool. Wish us luck!