Sunday, March 15, 2009

Netbooks are go.

We are always looking for technologies that enable learning and engage learners. We have this year initiated a 1 to 1 netbook programme for year seven students. I have never been happier in my beliefs that connected students will learn better. A bold statement I know but the students learning is evident both in the classroom and out. We have had to extend access to our social networking site elgg with over 100 concurrent connections to the database. This is becoming the hub of literacy development (see Below) as the community kicks in. Here I see Metcalfe's law showing true in education only with a few subtle differences. Metcalfe's law states that "the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system" Well the same can be said for learning value as more people connect the more we can learn from each other. The students are also empowered by knowing the other people they see on their network. I will ask some of them questions about this next week but first need to get a list of network beliefs off my Chest. Please add to this via comments.

Network value and function depends on:

  • Number of people connected
  • A feeling of ownership
  • A feeling of engagement
  • Network having multiple links student-teacher, Teacher-teacher, student-student, student-parent etc
  • The ability of the network to support multiple concurrent connections which requires:
    • High density Wireless provision
    • High Speed internet provision
    • Access to appropriate learning and social networks
    • Anytime anywhere anyhow

Ownership and personalisation

The personalisation of the device comes from its size, connectivity and obviously belonging to the user. The photos I have taken around the school as I came across students and netbooks. All after class out of school.

Here We can see weekend engagement of students in the social network at Southwell School.


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