Educators See A Dramatic Transformation In Learning When Students Use Technology To Learn Anytime, Anywhere

REDMOND, Wash., April 23, 1997 — When Jacobo, a student at Mott Hall, a public middle school in New York City’s Harlem, entered the fifth grade, he wasn’t interested in school, didn’t want to do his homework and wouldn’t work collaboratively with his fellow students. According to his teacher, Janice Gordon, he just
“did not want to be here.”

Then Jacobo got a laptop computer to use as his own personal learning tool and his attitude toward school and his classmates was transformed. Now, Gordon says, Jacobo does all of his homework and classwork, loves working in groups, and goes out of his way to be helpful to other students. Gordon credits Mott Hall’s innovative approach to increasing access to technology, providing students with laptop computers 100 percent of the time, as the source of Jacobo’s newfound interest in school.

“When we had the opportunity to have a laptop program, Jacobo promised that he would get his act together, and he really has,”
Gordon said.
“He is a success story.”

With support from Microsoft Corporation and Toshiba, students at Jacobo’s school in New York City’s Community District 6 and 51 other public and private schools nationwide – 10,000 teachers and students in grades 4 through 12 — use laptop computers to learn
“anytime anywhere.”
They have access to laptops 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using them as personal learning tools anytime they need to, anywhere they may be.

While there are different models for this program throughout the country, the teachers are reporting similar educational benefits. Students are no longer settling for
“good enough,”
on their class projects. They ask each other for feedback and strive to improve each version of their work. Students are developing their critical thinking skills, teachers are taking on the role of learning coach and parents are playing a more active role in their children’s education. In addition, access to a laptop computer and productivity software is helping prepare these students for the work force.

Through Microsoft’s support for this
“Anytime Anywhere Learning” concept, these schools – from New York City to Washington state – receive information and assistance as they implement their laptop pilot programs during the 1996-97 school year. The students and teachers use their Microsoft® Windows® -based Toshiba®
notebooks as a basic
“learner’s tool kit,”
loaded with Microsoft Office Professional and a modem for connectivity to the Internet.

“These teachers and students are doing incredibly creative and innovative projects using laptops as learning tools,”
said Elizabeth King, general manager of Microsoft’s Education Customer Unit.
“Microsoft is helping educators to make informed decisions about implementing anytime anywhere programs by documenting best teaching practices and helping schools share information.”

“Anytime anywhere learning”
supports Microsoft’s overall vision for technology in education, the Connected Learning Community, an educational environment in which all students have access to the world’s information through personal computers, and students, educators, parents and the extended community are connected to one another.

With access to a computer 100 percent of the time, students can take advantage of what educators refer to as the
“teachable moment.”
This means that when the student is ready to learn, a key point in the instructional process, the computer and access to vast information resources are available. For example, students from Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a private girls’ school in Bellevue, Wash., that has a laptop learning program, recently visited the Seattle Art Museum. When they wanted to know more about a painting, they used their laptops’ wireless modems to access an Internet web site and conducted their research on the spot.

“Having access to a computer at the teachable moment is an effective way to integrate technology into teaching and learning for children,”
said Ronald J. Areglado, Associate Executive Director of Programs, National Association of Elementary School Principals.
“Instant access to whatever information they need, whenever they want it helps students develop a new enthusiasm and motivation for learning.”

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