Can a laptop improve learning in the classroom?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops

Teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin.  The teacher teaches so that learners can learn.  It is generally accepted that the better a teacher teaches, the more the learners will learn.

If a laptop is a powerful teaching tool in the hands of a teacher, it becomes an indirect learning tool for learners.  In many schools laptops and other computers are still not available to learners.  In such situations a teacher can use a single laptop to prepare lessons and then present the information in an interesting way.  This would improve the quality of teaching which, in turn, could lead to improved learning.

Of course, for technology to have an effect on learning, it should be freely accessible to learners.  It is not recommended that you hand your personal laptop to the learners of your class, but if there are computers in the school they will be useful in different ways.

Rich learning resources on the internet and other electronic media will be available to learners.

Each learner could learn at a pace that is comfortable to the individual.

Computers are very useful for ‘drill and practice’ exercises, helping learners to hone their skills.

If your school does not yet have computers available for learners, do not despair.  Use the time to develop your own technical skills.  These skills are essential if you wish to guide learners in the use of technology, once they do gain access to it.  When you are proficient in the use of technology, you are in a powerful position to help learners to make optimal use of any technology that may be made available to them in the future.

In the meantime, use your laptop to improve your own teaching – this should have an immediate positive effect on learning in your classroom.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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24 Comments to Can a laptop improve learning in the classroom?

Kathy
Friday, 13 February, 2009

So, what sort of things can I do with one laptop and a class of 40 children?

Can anyone give me a few ideas?

Tired
Friday, 13 February, 2009

Learners love computers and games etc. I used the labtop in class to take photos of all my learners using a webcam. They can search for a word while doing a language, social science and in fact all learning areas. Yes we would love to have more but we are so used to getting alone with what we have because we are skilled educators.

AlleyCat
Friday, 13 February, 2009

The laptop could have many uses in class. As a group you can use it as a presentation tool, showing slides of events that has taken place at school, photographs concerned with a particular lesson or topic, etc.
The laptop could also be use to play music or sounds to the learners, as part of a lesson. As we teach IT at our school, many learners need extra tuition with regards to this (eg. they not sure how to log on). This could be done as a remedial lesson and the laptop used as a remedial tool, to do a one-on-one lesson with learners in class.

Adams
Friday, 13 February, 2009

The learners could listen to calming music.
The lessons could be visual eg.pictures,drawings etc.
Access information from the internet to enhance the lesson.
Slide presentations-photos with regard to events that took place at school.
Learners can be transported to different parts of the world within minutes.

Cerfonteyne
Friday, 13 February, 2009

You can use it as a tool to enhance their vocabulary and spelling skills.
Draw speech bubbles using MS word and in the bubbles insert jumbled sentences/words emanating from pictures taken from clipart.
learners then have unjumble sentences/words and Encarta to find definitions of unfamiliar words

Dalvi
Friday, 13 February, 2009

laptop is a user friendly tool for learners.
It can be use for may things e.g
1. lesson preparation
2. downloading picture and stories for learners and playing it to them
3It can be used as a audio visual tool, while learners are working they can listen to some music
4. It can be use a group activity, learners can search for answers
5. It can be used a remedial tool, slower learners can learn the alphabet etc.
6. You can play an education dvd for learners
7. Some learners can listen to Talking story during the reading time.
8. Learners can learn to
log on/ off
9.The teacher can rotate the group to work on the laptop

Diniso
Friday, 13 February, 2009

You divide yo learners into 2 groups,one of the groups come to the table to read the talking stories and the others stay in their desks listen to the readers.
Show them all different animals from encarta.

Ehrenreich
Friday, 13 February, 2009

The difficulty with having 1 laptop in the Senior/Intermediate phase ( without the projector and white board ) is that it could lead to chaos if not supervised properly.I do agree that there are lots of activities that can be done, but do due our big classes and lack of space, I foresee problems.The easiest and best way to utelize the laptop at this moment in time, is to save any activities/information on my flash and discuss it during my/our computer period. I caanot wait for the white boards.

Gurling
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I really enjoy using the website http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/musicold.htm.This site displays lyrics as well as a midi track of songs.Learners can sing along.I use it as an art and culture lesson, as well as a reading lesson.The laptop can be placed where all can see the words and hear the tunes.

Hector
Friday, 13 February, 2009

You can connect a projector to the laptop and show pictures, video clips, etc. and this will give learners a better idea of what you are refering too.

The laptop could be used for learning support with the use of software such as talking stories, cami, etc.

Mawere
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I can do reading assessment on my desk, calling individual children to come read for me while the rest is having free flow play activity in different centres in the class room, by the end of than same period two major tasks will have been achieved at once.

Nadniesa
Friday, 13 February, 2009

A laptop is such a useful resource to have in the class. You can record educational dvd’s and play it to the class, also copy additional information onto your flashdrive and present it to them, also it can be used to play soothing music in class to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Slower learners can be taught as a group, especially from the bbc website where they have wonderful activities for learners.

Nessa
Friday, 13 February, 2009

We would use it for group activities while the whole class is busy with activities in their books, we would take smaller groups for intervention activities. This will cover any or all subjects in the curriculum.They can use it for Vocabulary, by looking for the given on the laptop instead of the dictionary.
With Love
Thank you for your time, Chocolates and Flowers

Petersen
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I will have learners work in groups on a theme or main idea for paragraphs for an essay.I will give them specific words to focus for each paragraph. Each person in each group will type a sentence on the laptop-completing the respective paragraphs that they were responsible for; to complete the essay.

Soyeye
Friday, 13 February, 2009

We would use it for group activities while the whole class is busy with activities in their books, we would take smaller groups for intervention activities. This will cover any or all subjects in the curriculum.They can use it for Vocabulary, by looking for the given on the laptop instead of the dictionary.
With Love
Thank you for your time, Chocolates and Flowers

Fortuin
Friday, 13 February, 2009

Hi
I ues the laptop on the table to show the learners the encarta slides and dvd’s.
Group work to teach them how to use the laptop.

Erickson
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I am still in the crawling stages where laptop use in my classroom is concerned. I do not have any ideas but I am enjoying reading everyone else’s. I am learning very fast though.

Goliath
Friday, 13 February, 2009

You could go on the internett and visit a particular country, without leaving the classroom. Lear more about the people, their customs and their culture. Also see what type of transport system they employ, what education system they have?

You could teach the learners individually some skills on the computer. How to e-mail, how to search the web, etc. What about history? You could show the learners how to google and use it.

Hopley
Friday, 13 February, 2009

Log on to encarta school for vocabulary enrichment.Find pictures and words describing feelings of learner. How does certain music let you feel?

Newman
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I have decided to use my laptop in the class the following way- trying to teach 45 children to log on in the comp. lab was very difficult. I then called two learners at a time to my table and showed them how to log on. This is taking a long time but I feel that at the end of the first term they will all be able to log on.

Roelf
Friday, 13 February, 2009

I will devide learners into 4 groups of 10 listening and viewing a story on dvd. Each group have to give their on review on the story. Then one learner of each group have to type up their report make copies for the rest of their own group.

kvanwyk
Friday, 13 February, 2009

Your comments are very valuable to me – it shows that if a teacher has one laptop it can be used in a very beneficial way to enhance learning.

I wish you all the success in your efforts to learn how to integrate technology in the learning and teaching process. Please have a look at the other ways in which laptops can help teachers. On the page bar at the top of this blog, you will find the heading “Laptops for Teachers” – Click on that, and it will take you to a list of questions on laptops, together with the answers.

Albie 2012
Saturday, 14 February, 2009

Albie 2012
Saturday, February 14, 2009, 10:02 AM
Multi-use of the laptop is the answer !

Let us in the classroom with 1x laptop + 1x data projector + possibly 1x E-IAWB have 10 – 15 learners working with their own mouse from their own desk (bluetooth model) connected to one Laptop with a 15x port hub (I am sure the programmers can work-out a solution for this notion). Here I am thinkig of schools of disadvatage status re financial resources.

Software is available where the screen can be “cloned” to show 4 – 8 (even more) smaller screens on one major sreens. Now project this on the E-IAWB and all the learners can see their own work on the IAWB together with other learners contribution. Switching between screens is possible.

Value ? Multiple use with good organsational skills by the educator to streamline the different “projections” on the IAWB. The aim is to use the moveable assest – laptop – to the next classroom and perform the same activity.

Most of the previous bloggers had very good ideas – from music to pictures to the internet scenario.

Albie 2015

Mike Kaechele
Sunday, 22 February, 2009

I am a technology teacher in the United States and I would love to have my students interact with a class in Africa. If you have a webcam and microphone with your laptop we can use a free program called Skype to have free video calls.

I would like to have a cultural exchange and possibly grow into a collaboration project and weekly visits of “WebPals” to increase cross-cultural understandings and tolerance.

Please contact me through our class blog woodtech.edublogs.org if anyone is interested or has questions.

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