From the New York Times (May 4, 2007), "Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops"

This just in (May 24, 2001): The Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation donates $10,000,000 to Lakeside for technology infrastructure. If the decision to push the mandatory laptop program was motivated on financial -- not educational grounds -- then the priorities are severely misguided. See the press release and funding priorities on the foundation web site.

"With the overwhelming generosity of the Allen family we are able to continue in our pursuit to provide our students with technology tools that will enhance their learning and improve their critical thinking skills," said Bernie Noe, director of Lakeside School. "This generous grant will be valuable in ensuring that our students have a critical base in skills that support their present and future learning and the school's commitment to lifelong curiosity." (from the press release)

NEW! Please see the questions that should be asked in evaluating the laptop program thus far.

 


Revised Decision Released. (April 6, 2001)
Mandatory Laptops will be "Phased In"

A partial victory for parents and students
(But No Response to Call for Amnesty and Reconsideration)

"Over the past three weeks there has been a vigorous debate in the Lakeside School community over the use of laptop technology at the school. We have heard from parents and Upper School Student Government on all sides of the debate and have heard from faculty and staff about the program. This past Monday the Board of Trustees met to consider all that has transpired and to consider the recommendations of the Department Heads Group that the laptop program be phased in rather than implemented all at once." . . . "Laptops will be required next year in grades 7, 8, and 9."

           -- From a letter dated April 6, 2001, sent to all Lakeside School families, signed by Bernie Noe


Please let me know (douglas@scn.org) if you'd like to receive occasional postings on this topic.

 

Laptop Moratorium Now!

 

Thank you, Seattle, for making us your number one source for Laptop Moratorium Nownews!

Read Thinking Outside the Edtech Box, a new essay by former Lakeside teacher Judy Lightfoot!

 

Defy Digital Determinism!

For many, what have now become myths once represented the promise of technology in schools; only the wise and the "Luddites" would have seriously considered questioning them.
     -- From Caught in the Net: Navigating the Turbulent Waters of Technology by Alan Bain, Independent School Magazine - Spring 1998 NEW!

If a laptop program were the right thing to do, the teachers and parents would be clamoring for it; something is wrong if you have to force this on the very people you hope to benefit.
     -- A Lakeside parent

This web site is dedicated to a discussion of the proposed mandatorypurchase and use of laptop computers at the Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington. I will try to keep it up to date as new events arise. The newest event -- as of April 6, 2001 -- is that the laptops will be "phased in" and next year's 7th, 8th, and 9th graders will forced to buy laptops. Students entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade have been spared from this experiment. If the laptop "phase-in" continues in following years all students will be required to own PC-based laptops them in three years.

It is now apparent that many students, teachers, and parents are dissatisfied with this dubious educational experiment. The chief complaint is that it is unclear what educational objectives -- if any -- would be addressed by this. There is also a significant amount of dissatisfaction with the process which many people believe was established to justify a "foregone conclusion."

The most prudent course of action now would be to suspend this current initiative now and begin a more open process to see what course of action the school should take. In the absence of urgency to do otherwise I am asking other parents, the board of trustees, etc. to call for this moratorium as well. You can call or e-mail the school. You may also want to voice your concerns at the upcoming Curriculum Review and Laptop Information Nights. These recommendations were sent to the Head of School and the trustees on March 20, 2001. We are awaiting a reply to these suggestions.

These dates below are for last year (2000-2001 school year) The new times have been determined but they're not listed here yet. (Sorry!)

See the Lakeside web site for more information.

Stay tuned for a report on Tuesday (March 13) night's laptop meeting with 10th grade parents and students. Not necessarily a love fest! BTW, Bernie Noe, head of school, remarked that he has only received five letters. (This number is now probably in excess of 25.) Bernie's e-mail is bernie.noe@lakesideschool.org.

Please also write to the board of trustees today. They are standing by for your calls!


Thanks in advance for your ideas and feedback!
       - Doug Schuler, Lakeside parent and Laptop Moratorium Webmaster.

Reports and Correspondence

There is also a report authored by the Northwest Regional Eduational Laboratory which reportedly contained the "hard data" that supports the mandatory laptop proposal. (which is not exactly true.) The report was originally intended to provide the answer to whether the pilot program should go ahead but this decision was made by the administration (with input from comittees). Originally I wrote to the NWREL executive director asking for this report but, according to her the administration at Lakeside told them not to release the report. There are now, as of March 20, 2001, copies of this report available on the Lakeside website and in the administration office. Kudos (if belated) to them for this contribution to the discussion!

Books, Articles and Web Sites

EdTech Satires


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