Friday, May 04, 2007

Computers and Other Priorities

There's a great article in the Times today that suggests issuing laptops to students has not produced the desired effects:

The students at Liverpool High have used their school-issued laptops to exchange answers on tests, download pornography and hack into local businesses. When the school tightened its network security, a 10th grader not only found a way around it but also posted step-by-step instructions on the Web for others to follow (which they did).

I guess hindsight is 20/20, but I can't say I'm surprised. Our school hasn't issued laptops to kids, but every classroom, including the trailers, is ready for both hard-wired and wireless internet. The only teensy-weensy problem we have is there don't happen to be any computers in the classrooms at all.

While I'm sure there are multiple possibilities, I'd be happy with a single computer to look up things from time to time. I sometimes carry my own laptop, but I worry I'd lose it if I carried it regularly.

However, before the DoE invests in a single computer, there are a few other things on my wish list. First, I'd like them to put soap in the trailer bathrooms. Kids tell me they haven't seen it there in almost a year, and I find it unconscionable that the custodial staff views it as a luxury of which my kids are unworthy. Multiple complaints (from me) to custodians and administrators have gone unanswered.

If someone were to actually clean those bathrooms now and then, I wouldn't complain about that either.

Call me madcap, but the huge metal pipe hanging precariously outside my trailer could easily be twisted off and used as a toy or a weapon, neither of which much appeals to me.

It would be nice if they got around to repairing the AC in the trailers. Anyone who tells you tin keeps you cool in the summer probably works for the DoE in an air-conditioned office somewhere.

And pain in the neck that I am, I think they ought to replace or repair the screens in the windows (particularly now, with the AC on the fritz).

For some reason, fresh air seems to appeal to ESL students. I'm thinking American kids might like it too.

Maybe someone ought to come up with a few million and do a study.

Cross posted to Kitchen Table Math
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