Wednesday, July 24, 2013

School for Creative Studies - Tech Perspective

The School for Creative Studies just opened in Durham.  Its a magnet school and is decked out with technology from what I have heard.  Each student has a Mac book of their own.  I was talking with a student recently and she was very excited about the technology.  I was intrigued by the things she mentioned.

Teacher Web Pages
She is thrilled that her teachers all have Web pages.  I never thought students would really be interested in this.  I thought of teacher Web pages in middle school as advertising to parents.  The student I talked to said it will make keeping up with her homework easier.  Some of her teachers post notes on their page too so if she missed something in class she can go back to it. 

Laptops Stay @ School
She was disappointed that students don't get to take their laptops home. Of course we would all like to bring cool toys home I thought.  This student has plenty of access to a computer and the Internet at home, so I didn't think it really was a big inconvenience to her.  She mentioned that on the 6th day of school she is already growing accustomed to using her school email for her work.  While she could access her school email from her home computer, I think her underlying concern was not having access to the school computing environment at home.  I see how this can be an issue.  Cloud storage can help with some of the most common problems of file access, but there is no substitute for having your "own computer" in your hands when you are working.  She also mentioned the students who don't have computers at home.  I think this is a big issue, but in the current budget and legislative environment in North Carolina, I don't think we will be able to address the Digital Divide at home. 

I am excited to see how this experiment at School for Creative Studies proceeds and it renews my hope for getting 1:1 computing for the students at Lucas.

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