The basics

As I start looking forward to next year and my new position. I’ve been thinking about what are the basics that every middle school and high school student should have technology wise in the 06-07 school year? I can dream and say that every students should have a laptop, is that a want or a need? I’m looking for the needs. What is it every student needs to have?

Here is a short list that I have formulated in my head so far.

  • E-mail account: Should we just say that students need one or should the school be responsible to provide on to each student?
  • Server storage space: Students should have access to the schools server storage space to store documents. Should the school provide access to that space outside of the school’s network? Or should students be encouraged to use a free space such as box.net to carry documents from home to school?
  • Flash Drive: As much as I hate these little buggers they are very popular with students as a way to transfer files from home and school.

That’s all I have so far. I’m trying to make a basic list, but there is part of me that keeps coming back to some of the web 2.0 tools that are now available. At what point do these tools stop becoming ‘could be fun’ and start becoming part of the basics of what we want students to have? Do we require students to have a computer at home with Internet access? Of course a laptop program would take care of that, but until that comes to be, what is it we want students in 06-70 to use, have access to, and be able to do with technology. As you can see I’m struggling with this question and the answers. Of course there are so many things I want to add to this list, but are they basic requirements or are they: “That’s what I think should be.” There is a great divide between the two.

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

1 Comment

  1. Jeff,
    The middle school students in our school, although not required to do so, quickly figured out that they “needed” either an email address or a flash drive. If teachers are going to expect students to use technology, students have to have their files available to them anywhere they can work on them. We use a file server so the students can access their work anywhere in the school. Being able to access their files at home is imperative for students who can’t type an entire essay during the time allowed in class, or who are so engaged in a project that they want extra time to experiment or “spice it up” (my favorite reason for transferring file home).

    My own children are in a very large public high school in suburban Chicago. An email address was required for my freshman so he could use Turnitin. My junior uses her email routinely to send her stuff back and fourth to school and home. At their school, web-based email sites like Yahoo are “semi-blocked”, meaning that the school computers only allow you to be on the site for a short time, presumably enough to send or receive one or two emails. My daughter says that the tech people at school will ask why you’re on Yahoo and if you tell them to access a file to work on it, they’re “cool with it”.

    I was floored when I found out that most high schools in the US (according to the tech sources at IL-TCE) do not allow kids to use email for any purpose, not even to transfer work. Those schools allow flash drives. It’s been my experience that those “little buggers” occasionally get currupted, lost, or even stolen. My daughter rarely uses them. “They just don’t work in all the computers at school.”

    I wonder how long it will be before school tech people will block sites like box.net?

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