This conviction about the 5 Cs of the 1:1 Laptop Environment came to me when I was in New Brunswick last month making a presentation to teachers who were teaching to students who had just been given laptops. It comes from my own observations from teaching with the use of laptop myself for the last four years and in being in a 1:1 environment for two years.
Tonight I listened to Gary Stager’s presentation at Learning 2.0 in Shanghai (care of Wes Fryer) just last week. I agreed with MOST of his presentation. He stated that the most important activity the laptop permits is that of construction (creation). It is certainly a very important goal within that environment and, as a social constructivist who has been inspired by the work of David Jonassen, I would agree that this is an important goal in a 1:1 environment.
However, I would say that given today’s super-powered Internet tools and environments, that while we educators have done a fairly good job of fostering the ability to collate, create and construct, we have NOT done such a good job at providing opportunities to communicate and collaborate given a ubiquitous wireless environment which always accompanies a laptop environment. (I realize I somehow left out connect, but that sense is there, I think!)
It drove me CRAZY in the last few years that we would inflict digitally-based projects on our students, they would submit them (often over the built-in email service), we would evaluate them, and poof! that was it, they were gone. Unless the student self-consciously saved their projects themselves, usually the project was doomed to be flushed out at the end of the year because the server space needed reclaiming. No vision for sharing that project with a larger audience or preserving it as a portfolio artifact for the future. No sense of reflection about progress over a period of time. No idea that another audience existed who could benefit from this constructed knowledge.
I also believe there is a great deal of value in socially-constructed knowledge and even better if the collaboration has to include a distance education component to it. Many of our 21st Century learners will have to do this as part of their future education or employment – or just for pleasure.
I would love to hear from other educators about *their* opinions on this issue!