started its laptop computer program for grades 7-12 in 1999. The
central goal of the program has always been to make the information
processing power of the computer available to students whenever and
wherever needed. This does not mean that laptops are or should be used
all the time. Instead it means that the computer will be there whenever
there is a benefit to be gained from its use. This approach is
essentially no different from how pencil and paper have been deployed in
schools. Pencil and paper are not used all the time, but we want them
to be immediately accessible at all times.
Following are some of the specific reasons we have laptop computers at RCDS:
that help their students and teachers harness the information
processing power that laptop computers provide will place their students
at a competitive advantage. Students will be more engaged in learning
the content of the curriculum while at the same time developing deep
competency using the problem-solving environment provided by the
- Laptops help promote a positive shift toward
more project-based, hands-on learning, and away from lecture-based
learning. Lecture-based learning will not, and should not, disappear.
However, the information manipulation environment provided by laptops
allows teachers to reduce their reliance on lecturing.
is done across the curriculum. Word processing makes writing a
significantly more enjoyable process for students. Students do more
writing and revision when they have laptops.
education is made richer and more engaging with the aid of software
tools like spreadsheets, Geometer's SketchPad, and Mathematica.
social studies, and current events instruction is tremendously enriched
by students having immediate access to the vast wealth of information
available on the Internet. Laptops provide a platform for the creation
and presentation of multimedia rich projects.
education is greatly enhanced by the data gathering, data analysis and
simulation software tools that run within the virtual digital workshop
the laptop provides.
- Foreign Language instruction
success correlates highly with the time students are able to spend
immersed in the language. The multimedia capabilities of laptops allow
students to spend more time listening and speaking in the language of
instruction. With the right software and a set of headphones, a laptop
can function like a language lab work station. Laptops also provide
access, through the Internet, to the media of the countries where the
language of instruction is the native language.
- In art,
music and drama, laptops provide easy access to examples of best
practices. Students visit virtual museums, listen to music clips, and
watch videos of great performances. Students also use various software
applications to assist in the creation of artwork, music, scripts and
- Laptops provide easy storage and access
to a student's accumulating body of work. By viewing previous work,
students can better gauge their own progress and avoid repeating tasks
already accomplished. In many situations, laptops can also help students
who struggle with organization.
- All students develop a
strong competency in using computers. Providing laptops to students goes
a long way toward eliminating any digital divides in the use of
In sum, enabling students with laptops helps
create a more humane school environment in which drudgery and repetitive
tasks are minimized while exploratory and creative tasks are maximized.