What do want your students to do? Is it enough to for them to merely "use" technology for technology sake or are there learning outcomes that require a one-to-one laptop program? Here's a great resource: At the time of this post, one website in particular, lessonplanet.com, offers 893 lesson plans involving laptops for use in the classroom. Much of the groundwork has been laid, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel.
Questions before you jump in
-What if the laptop breaks down, gets a virus, or otherwise becomes unusable?
-What about extended warranties? What happens when it breaks down?
-In three years when it’s time to replace it…what then? If so, where’s that money going to come from?
Benefits of Going Wireless
One advantage to a one-to-one laptop program is the ability to go wireless. Most traditional “wireless” access points still need to be wired to the Internet to broadcast their signal. For large wireless networks, Ethernet cables need to be run through walls and ceilings; however, in a wireless mesh network, only one node needs to be physically wired to a network connection like a DSL modem. That one wired node then shares the Internet connection wirelessly with all other laptops in its vicinity. Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and Intel’s Classmate computers both operate using mesh networking, a technology which allows each laptop to receive a WiFi signal, then broadcast that signal out to other nearby computers. The more laptops (nodes), the further the connection spreads, creating a wireless “cloud of connectivity” that can serve a small classroom or a city of millions.