REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 3, 1997 — This school year, more than 20,000 students and teachers in nearly 225 K-12 schools are using laptop computers as personal learning tools, a new approach to integrating technology into learning. Building on dramatic improvements in teaching and learning seen by the 52 schools that pioneered the approach last year, 172 more schools are implementing the Anytime Anywhere Learning vision, in which students and teachers have their own laptops 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As enthusiasm grows for Anytime Anywhere Learning, more than 800 school administrators and educators will discover how laptop learning can transform their schools at the Anytime Anywhere Learning Summit ’98, Feb. 13-15 in Seattle.
Results of a pilot year study of last year’s 52 participating public and private schools reveal consistent reports from teachers on the powerful impact that Anytime Anywhere Learning is having on how teachers teach and what students accomplish. Key findings of the study, conducted by nationally known education researcher Saul Rockman of San Francisco and funded by Microsoft Corp. and Toshiba American Information Systems include these:
Teachers and administrators reported that the greatest impact of Anytime Anywhere Learning was that Microsoft Office and Toshiba notebooks allowed the students to access the curriculum in ways that reflected their individual needs.
Many participants reported that students take greater responsibility for their own learning.
Participating in the laptop program encourages teachers to use more small-group, project-based and individualized instruction.
“When our researchers visit these schools, they see unprecedented teacher, parent and student enthusiasm for learning,” Rockman said. “We have studied major applications of technology in education and have never seen a school community embrace an effort as they have with Anytime Anywhere Learning.”
As a basic “learner’s toolkit,” the students and teachers in the pilot schools used Microsoft® Windows® operating system-based Toshiba notebook computers loaded with Microsoft Office Professional Edition and a modem to connect to the Internet. 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.
Pilot Programs Are Growing Rapidly
Student and teacher participation in the laptop pilot program has grown rapidly this school year; some schools have expanded it to include one or two additional classrooms and others to involve their entire school. In New York City, Community District Six is expanding its program involving 26 students in one classroom to 1,400 students at 16 schools. The Snohomish School District in Washington State is doubling last year’s participation to 600 students. And the Beaufort County School District in South Carolina will increase its effort from 300 to 1,300 students. Educators at three private schools – Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bellevue, Wash.; Oldfields School, Glencoe Sparks, Md.; and The Trevor Day School, New York City – are making Anytime Anywhere Learning and Toshiba Notebooks for Schools schoolwide programs this year.
Clovis Unified School District, in the heart of Fresno County, Calif., saw such positive results from its 100-student laptop pilot during the 1996-97 school year that this year more than 500 seventh- and eighth-grade students will participate in the program. A year from now, the school district plans to have more than 1,000 students participating as the program expands to all three district high schools.
“Dynamic, never quiet, not predictable, always exciting” are the words used by Virginia Boris, Clovis assistant superintendent of schools, to describe her school district’s participation in Anytime Anywhere Learning. “The laptops have helped reconnect our students to the joy of learning,” she said. “They are tools that make learning fun and personal and provide our students with real-world experiences using real-world tools.”
Anytime Anywhere Learning Resources for Schools
In addition to sponsoring the three-year study, Microsoft and Toshiba are providing other resources to help schools get started.
Microsoft is sponsoring professional development for teachers, offering a how-to video series, providing a resource book and hosting an Anytime Anywhere Learning Web site http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/aal/ that includes case studies and links to online forums where educators share ideas, challenges and successes. “A Guide to Getting Started” is a 200-page book detailing implementation models based on schools’ experience, steps for developing a vision, and tips for selecting hardware and software and arranging financing. The guide is available on the Anytime Anywhere Learning Web site.
“When we talk to teachers in Anytime Anywhere Learning schools, they tell us about students who are asking insightful questions, working together on class assignments and so excited about coming to school that their attendance rates are pushing 100 percent,” said Kathryn Yates, director of K-12 programs at Microsoft. “Microsoft is providing educators with information and tools to help them successfully implement Anytime Anywhere Learning.”
The computers systems division (CSD) of Toshiba America Information Systems is providing schools with Satellite® and Satellite Pro
notebook computers, financing, insurance and service through its Notebooks for Schools program.
“We’re very excited about the program and the benefits of bringing mobility to the learning environment,” said Greg Cygan, vice president, public sector for Toshiba CSD. “Mobile computing facilitates student-centered learning, increases collaboration among students, teachers and parents, and unleashes the creativity that all children naturally possess.”
Anytime Anywhere Learning Summit
A key opportunity for schools to explore the vision of learning with laptops is the Anytime Anywhere Learning Summit. The upcoming Summit ’98 will bring together about 800 educators from schools that use laptops with their colleagues who are interested in the approach. Educators from Anytime Anywhere Learning schools will share their experiences, visions, strategies, and implementation and instructional models. Summit ’98 will build upon the success of the 1997 summit, where more than 500 educators gathered to discuss these issues as well as how to gain community support and approaches to providing equal access to technology. For more information about Anytime Anywhere Learning, including the complete research study, or to register for Summit ’98, visit http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/aal/ .
Microsoft’s support of Anytime Anywhere Learning is part of the company’s continuing efforts to help create a global Connected Learning Community in which all students and educators have access to technology and information online to support learning today and for a lifetime.
About the Companies
Toshiba continues to be the leading vendor in the U.S. market for portable computers, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). The company offers portable and desktop computing solutions for consumer and business customers under the Toshiba brand name. For dealer referral and product literature, call (800) 344-3445, or visit the company’s World Wide Web site at (http://www.toshiba.com/tais/csd/products/education/) .
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with annual sales of approximately $4 billion, Toshiba America Information Systems (TAIS) comprises nine divisions that manufacture and market a wide range of business and information-oriented products in the United States. Products include portable and desktop computers, disk drives, plain-paper copiers, facsimile systems, voice mail systems, digital key telephones, toner products, optical fiber modems and digital cameras. TAIS is an independent operating company, owned by Toshiba America Inc., a subsidiary of the $48 billion Toshiba Corp., the sixth largest electronics and electrical equipment manufacturer, and the world’s 37th largest corporation in terms of sales. Toshiba Corp. is a world leader in high-technology products with 303 major subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Satellite is a registered trademark and Satellite Pro is a trademark of Toshiba Corp.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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