Drop into any classroom on the middle school campus, it seems, and you are bound to see students in Gr. 6-8 all hard at work using their school-issued laptops.
This is year two for all the grades to be using laptops, said Dan Hudkins, director of instructional technology for K-Gr. 12, and everything is going quite well. “It’s a reasonably mature program and we continue to explore additional options and ways for laptops to be used as learning tools.’’
Gurutam Thockchon, Gr. 6, thinks it has been a smooth, successful launch as the sixth graders just received their laptops on Nov. 6. Students in Gr. 7-8 started the school year with theirs.
“It is better using a laptop because it is easier to write, keep track of things and not have to carry around so many papers,’’ Thockchon said as he worked on his laptop during a study hall session.
And the Gr. 6 teachers, across all curricula, have found a multitude of projects and uses, such as creating PowerPoint presentations in environmental studies; writing essays, doing research and vocabulary exercises in English classes; having access to a variety of resources on Athena (handouts, Web links, study guides), taking quizzes and tests and working on collaborative projects in history; and writing and researching speeches for the public speaking course.
In Pre-Algebra Honors, classes are doing warm-up problems and short activities; in Spanish, students record themselves speaking and take online quizzes; in music class, the students are taking notes on different musical historical periods; and in Health, students have used the laptops to visit MyPryamid.gov to learn about the new food pyramid and proper eating habits.
And this is only in the last two weeks. Angela Neff, the assistant instructional technology director for the middle school, said things have gone great so far!