The netbook as a classroom learning tool?
Something very exciting arrived last Monday morning at Twynham School. When I arrived in our office there were 9 parcels on the floor waiting for me. These were 9 Samsung NC20 netbooks which we have purchased to continue our research in this area. As you may remember from my previous blogs I first became excited by the potential of netbooks in August whilst on a trip to New York. For the first time I could see a product which we might be able to use as a tool to support learning in the classroom and beyond.
At Twynham we have had a serious look at the Asus 1000H and Dell mini 9 in the Autumn Term and the Samsung NC10 in January and February. Our preference was for the Samsung NC10 but my wish list for a netbook with a 12 inch screen has remained throughout. We have done a lot of testing with students using the 9 and 10 inch machines for a number of hours at a time and they feel that a larger screen, keyboard and track pad are essential for regular use.
I checked in today with our 9 members of the Leadership Team who are testing the Samsung NC20s and they have met with universal approval. They all like the screen size and clarity and the trackpad is much improved over the NC20. Several members of the Leadership Team are running the full test and using the machine as their primary laptop and a few have already asked if they can trade in theif full size, full power Dell for the Samsung!
Why give these machines to the Leadership Team? My thinking here was that we should get the senior leaders in the school genuinely experiencing the types of technology the students will be using before making significant purchasing decisions. All in all it has proved a real hit with this group and from next week we will be handing them over to classroom teachers and finally to students to test. If we have similarly positvive results we will roll out these machines as 4 mobile classrooms in September. The final aim is for a full roll out to the whole of year 7 in September 2010.