Every semester, I reformat my classroom computers to get old junk off and update the applications. A couple semesters ago, I decided to leave iChat (Apple's instant messaging application) active, although I did not put the icon on the desktop, nor did I tell the kids.
We've all been hearing the hoopla over social networks -- MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, and so on. Students are online sharing some great things: poetry, original artwork, blogs, stories, journals, and more.
When I started my doctoral program, I knew I would have to be away from class for several weeks during the school year. I have never really liked the results I get with substitute teachers, even though I have been one and understand their problems all too well. I needed to do things differently.
You're going to think this is outrageous thinking from someone affiliated with The George Lucas Educational Foundation: I believe too many people are thinking about technology first and learning second.
Just a few years ago (in the twentieth century), most people felt that we successfully integrated technology into the curriculum when there were two, four, or even eight computers per classroom. This seemed like enough, because most of the time the computers were not used; you didn't need one for each student.
A school district I am working with is moving very cautiously and purposefully toward one-to-one implementation in its high school in fall 2007. It will distribute carts of iBooks to four classrooms by way of a pilot program a full year before the rest of the school comes on board.