Pownal & Fisher Students Receive Their Netbooks
On January 10th, the highly anticipated day finally arrived for the 4th and 5th grade students at Pownal and Fisher Elementary: Netbook Deployment.
Electricity was in the air as the 4th grade students filed into their classroom at Pownal Elementary, and it wasn’t from the netbooks charging in their wall- mounted cubby holes on the far side of the room.
“Are we getting the netbooks today?” asked one little girl excitedly.
“Only if you finish your morning grammar and math work,” responded her teacher, barely managing to contain a rising smile.
Eric Bird, the lead trainer and peer coach from Digital Wish, had been in the classroom teaching digital citizenship and online safety since November, and the students were well aware that the netbooks would be ready “when they’re ready.” The students had been patiently waiting for the netbooks to become “school ready,” and the excitement was enough to glue all eyes to the cart the school technology coordinator wheeled in with the last stack of Dell netbooks for the class.
After going over some final netbook rules and providing common sense advice to the class, including student recommendations such as “Don’t use the netbook as an RC helicopter landing pad!” and “Don’t take your netbook in the pool,” the proud teachers and principals stood at the head of the class and called out student names corresponding to personalized laptops. Taking the netbooks with “both hands,” every student in the class was finally entrusted with their brand new learning tool for the school year.
Bird then took the class through the basic settings of their new computers and had them experiment with changing their touchpad speed and sensitivity, volume control, and the big hit of the day, the onboard webcam, which students can use to record pictures and video.
Even with the excitement of a new classroom tool of their very own, the students remained attentive and followed directions exactly. When Bird needed all eyes on him for instruction, he requested the students “close their screens halfway.” Students always listened, even though they slightly resembled puppies waiting for another delicious treat.
At the end of the day, seven classrooms in two schools had netbooks for each ecstatic student and the School Modernization Initiative was one step closer to total 1:1 coverage for every student in Vermont.
For more pictures of the Pownal and Fisher Netbook Deployments, check out our gallery page.