Part three of the series, we take a look at how a Business and Enterprise College took the bold step in 2010 to become the first learning institution in the UK to give every student a dedicated netbook, a lightweight and green laptop that provides it’s user with essential all day computing. With a student population of over 1400, the project is by all means no mean feat. So what are the advantages of using netbook in school and at home?
Netbooks for Every Student
Writhlington Business and Enterprise College became the first learning institution in the UK to issue a personal netbook for each student for use both in the classrooms and as well as at home. The new campus building also house many purpose built learning spaces with the idea that students equipped with their netbooks will be able to carry on learning anywhere using the school’s wireless network facility. Using a software platform which are both familiar to the students and compatible with most applications available on the desktop computers in school allowed the students to work seamlessly. Secure and restricted Internet access over the school’s wireless network give students a safe route to the Internet for the learning resources they need.
Information technology has become a common place in schools, at home and at work. Having good IT skills will prepare students for employment in the future. Any learning support to help them prepare for this digital age will not only see the benefits in the students’ educational achievements but help them acquire a transferable skill that they can use for life. Through the introduction of netbooks, students will be motivated to complete their school work, carry out research on subject of interest, prepare for presentations and help them achieve their academic targets. Over time, they will build self confident, be familiar with technology and be better prepared for further education and work.
Through Xelium’s partnership with Writhlington College, we are able to assist the school, to continually support and develop their virtual learning platform to cater for the needs of students of all levels. The use of netbook meant students can login to the VLE, download and review learning resources, complete and hand in their assignments, attempt assessments online, and more. Having access to the school’s network and VLE while in school and at home give students and flexibility and freedom to choose when and where to learn. To aid learning outside of the traditional classroom time, a dedicated personal netbook also sees students not having to book a computer and wait for their turn or share a home computer with their siblings and other members of the family.
So what are the real benefits of the Netbook for Every Student programme, here is a quick summary:
- Supports Learning, improve students’ academic achievements
- All day computing, with batteries that last up to 11 hours or more between charges, students can leave their charger at home
- Home access, children will have their own dedicated computer for use at home
- Lower cost of ownership, typical price of a netbook is only half that of a laptop or desktop computer
- Wireless Internet access, connect securely to schools’ wireless networks and work from any where
And there is more…
- Develop transferable skills, prepare them for life and employment in the future
- Take full advantage of cloud computing, existing network resources, virtual learning environment and software available over the web
- Compatible with school’s network and it’s operating systems allowing secured login, single sign-on and access to files
- Ease of use and space saving, typical clamshell form factor with keyboard, screen and webcam and in a lightweight and mobile design
- Green, typical power consumption per unit is 30-40 watt, compare this to a normal desktop at around 350 watt per unit
Other Gadgets Worthy of Mention
Through our previous articles, we have written about the use of handheld gaming consoles to aid teaching and learning, the use of iPod Touch and iPads, and the use of wireless response devices. The handheld technology is evolving at a break-neck pace, be sure to check back to learn more about using gadgets for teaching and learning.
- Gadgets and Apps for Learning I
- Gadgets and Apps for Learning II
- Gadgets and Apps for Learning III – [you are here]
- Gaming Console as Teaching Aid
Author: Samuel J. Tan