With the exception of my first hour English 10 class, I teach in a "laptop classroom" where the laptops are not used on a daily basis. In my 4th and 6th hour Honors American Literature classes, for example, the laptops are rarely used for the entire period, and we probably take them out of the cart about two or three days out of the week. I deliberate over how to incorporate the laptops in my planning. While I realize that the laptops hold endless potential, I tend to abstain from designing units and lessons that revolve around the technology. To be honest, I alternate on a daily basis between feeling guilty for not using the laptops enough and feeling guilty for too often sacrificing valuable non-laptop activities for the ones that utilize the technology (and may or may not be a success).
I would like to hear from the students' perpsectives where this balance lies. Students in the laptop classrooms--what impressions have the first six weeks left on you? In other words, which activities have the laptops genuinely enhanced, and which have they detracted from? Have we, your teachers, found a productive balance? --Ms. Kakos