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1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work Review by Christy Sensenig

By Pamela Livingston
ISTE Publications
175 West Broadway, Suite 300
Eugene, OR 97401-3003

1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work by Pamela Livingston is a book published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). This book will teach you how to plan a program within a school setting using laptops across the curriculum. It also encourages the use of laptops at home. The book reveals how to form an effective and inclusive planning committee; choose hardware and software that will integrate well with existing systems; select the most cost-effective options for purchasing, support, and funding; anticipate and overcome logistical challenges; and plan professional development activities that inspire teacher buy-in.

This program was developed for use in the classroom setting, with its target audience being education professors, K-12 teachers, and school administrators. The idea is for the educators to be at the helm of the program, implementing it and also being a part of the planning process. Planning must take place to ensure the program has a clear focus on what needs to be accomplished. All participants of the program must be committed to their responsibilities to produce a successful result. The initial program was used with 7th and 8th graders in a public school setting. It has been attempted with high school age students as well but not elementary grades. This program is not set up for use in a homeschool setting. There are many chapters in this book that would not apply to homeschoolers, although a homeschooled student could use some concepts presented in this program. The goal of using laptops in a variety of learning experiences could certainly be accomplished in a homeschool environment.

Having been in a public school setting, I can see the benefit of this program in that setting. However, I do not believe this program would be as much of a benefit to a child in a homeschool environment. There are concepts to be gleaned from the book, but it would be an overall waste of time and money for the homeschooling family since it is geared toward the public school. Here are two main "pointers" I can offer you from this book: (1) Use technology in a variety of settings as it interests your child, and (2) Gain knowledge of the changes in the area of technology. Doing these things will enhance your child's learning and offer a challenging educational environment for you as well.

Product review by Christy Sensenig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007