Thursday, November 30, 2006

A laptop for Christmas? I recommend it for your strongest consideration

Not all parents will understand or agree with my recommendation of a laptop-type computer for Xmas, but you might hear me out.

1) The mobility of a laptop means you can take your work with you on errands and trips and while waiting. Many CMHS students sit beside the building and use the Caddo wireless signal before and after school.
2) I believe that students who use them in the classroom may get more out of the class period. Students can use them to take notes, compose essays, keep their assignments and aid the teacher by researching impromptu definitions and background info. The teacher will monitor their use by visually checking the student screen. If students go off task regularly the teacher may ask the student to forego laptop use for a certain amount of time.
3) Portable computers allow the family to work together. If Dad is making supper, the student can do homework in the kitchen. If Mom is relaxing with a magazine, the student can pursue their work nearby. Parental overview is one of the keys to success.
4) A wireless router, about $50, is a key to round-the-house laptop usability.
5) Laptops have fallen in price. The computer market is becoming saturated and computer companies have to be aggressively competitive.
6) Laptops can give parents a bargaining tool. The leverage point can become, "If you do this much work, I'll allow you this much personal computer time."

The idea is certainly worth investigating and debating.

Looking at an alternative student present? A digital camera with 512 mb memory card will be most useful at school and home.