So we are already a quarter of the way through the school year and we are still waiting for laptops to arrive and IT to get them online. Not a great start if you are supposed to be a 1:1 classroom on the one hand, but we are ecstatic that it is even going to happen at all on the other. 20 new MacBooks have supposedly shipped and will arrive any day now which will bring us back up to 30 (a “class set” as we say), and as a precursor our new laptop cart arrived last Thursday.
Our old carts were, and are, flimsy and worn and have been broken into several times and bent … the doors won’t close without leaning all your weight on them and shoving, the latches won’t “latch”, and the 3rd prong on the power cord that grounds the electrical system broke off a couple of years ago … but otherwise they were fine.
2 carts are being replaced by 1 which is designed to hold 32 computers, has a timer on one cord so you don’t waste electricity OR you can plug in with the other that is on all the time. It has several other cool features like a trapdoor on the top that opens to give you access to several outlets you can plug equipment you might set on top to use … like my class Elmo projector and the teacher laptop hooked into my ActivBoard.
I must say computer carts have come a long way in 9 years … our old Bretford carts were pretty cutting edge when we got them, but obviously were not designed to withstand the test of time. This new one is much sturdier, has cool features and costs $600 dollars more than what we paid for both the old ones.
Just hope our IT department has the time to come out and get our 1 year old and new laptops on the new wireless system as soon as they come in so we move from having the potential of being 1:1 to the reality of being 1:1. We do have to allow IT to take away the twenty - 9 year old iBooks … I may shed a tear as they go out the door … they were real workhorses and gave their all. They cost $1750 new with 96 megs of ram and Airport Cards installed. Our new ones cost half that each and seem to be just a bit quicker and have hard drives that hold 16 times as much.
Learning is messy!