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Mar 4

Written by: Dan Maas
3/4/2009  RssIcon

Dear “Powered Up Writing” Students, Teachers, and Parents,

Across LPS, we have pilot projects of ASUS EeePCs in classrooms.  We hope that you are enjoying the new computers and are learning more than ever before.  Many people are asking about how your classroom has changed now that you have the EeePC laptops.  Can you help us tell your story?

Here are some questions we have:

How does having a laptop computer help students write better?

What happens in your classroom now that you have laptops that could not happen before?

Now that you have had laptops in your classroom, how would you feel if you didn’t have them next year?

What do next year’s 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?

Thank you,

 Dan Maas, Chief Information Officer

170 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Writing with laptops

I was hoping to read some positive comments to this post from some of the recipients of this pilot - something to give me a glimmer of hope that this approach was helping our students, but after almost a week there are none... *sad*

I'm becoming a bit cynical about this whole approach. It's unfortunate that I feel this way right now - and the lack of response to this post sums up my current thoughts on this subject: Is this REALLY making for a better student AND does anyone really care anymore? [I hope I am wrong.]

By Mason on   3/9/2009
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Please be patient

Mason, before passing judgment, please await the response. I sent the invite out to the participating classrooms last Thursday (I prepared the blog post on Wednesday, hence the date stamp). Friday was a non-contact day in exchange for teacher conferences Thursday night. So truly, there have been almost no classes held since I made this request. As such, I would not expect responses just yet. Naturally, we do not expect our teachers to drop everything for such an activity (this is CSAP season after all) but I am confident that this writing prompt will become an activity in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.

By Dan Maas on   3/9/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dan, et all. Looking forward to the responses. Thanks for the post - I have the same questions.

By Renee Howell on   3/9/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Yes. Monday was a glum day for me - sorry if I seemed "down".

Since that comment on Monday, the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" has been stuck in my head, but I'm replacing it with "100 Comments on Dan's Blog" if you know what I mean... I remain hopeful that the 5th grade community of parents, students and teachers responds to your blog because you're asking really good questions here.

By Mason on   3/10/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
These computers are a big part of my life as a fifth grader. They are life savers.Having a laptop helps me in writing because I'm not the most unorganized person, so I don't have tons of papers to mix up and lose. I can type everything on my computer and not be worried about it getting lost. In my classroom, Ms. V doesn't have to sit up at her computer and pull the website up on the projector screen. Before the computers, we were wasting time going up to the meeting area instead of doing our work. If I didn't have a computer next year, I wouldn't feel like it's the end of the world. Although, I would feel sort of disappointed if we didn't have computers next year. You wouldn't understand how wonderful these laptops are unless you were a kid like me. These are wonderful objects of technology! Kids next year should really look forward to doing almost all of their work online. It's so much easier for everyone because we don't have to have the teacher show us the website and we don't have to listen to them repeat everything three or four times.We can even take our spelling tests online! If you don't agree with me, stop by our class for one day and experience our wonderful technology. We use our computers almost everyday and we have a 'Smart Board' which helps all of us. Our teacher doesn't have to take attendance or do lunch count anymore because we can go up to the smart board and check the word 'present' and for lunch count we can make tally marks. Please visit www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com for more information on how our computers are used.
Sincerely,
Cheyanne

By Cheyanne on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas,
Having computers makes almost everything easier. It makes writing easier because my hand hurts after writing too long and when I'm typing I use both hands so one hand isn't tired. If we didn't have computers we couldn't do Fact Monster. It is a website and we have worksheets that we have to fill out while we navigate through the website. We learn about whose birthday it is and a bunch more things that we learn like historical events that have happened. We also couldn't have taken a spelling test online. You should come and see it If you have time stop by and look. You have to see it to believe it. If we didn't have laptops next year I would not like it that much. We do almost everything on our laptops. we wouldn't be able to watch videos at our own pace, we wouldn't be able to read our classmates responses on what we all think because we blog so many of our answers. If we didn't have computers next year I wouldn't be able to know what my classmates thought. The students that are coming into fifth grade next year have a lot of fun coming toward them. You type almost all of your writing assignments on the computers. The fourth graders will have a lot of fun with www.factmonster.com because you have to decide which word is spelled wrong and you also have to guess what the word for the analogy of the day is. You wouldn't have fun by doing it on a piece of paper because you don't get to navigate by yourself. You can come see our work at our blog, www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com or you can go to our wiki at, www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com! I hope you will agree that the eee laptops have made a difference for us after you see what we do.


Your Friend,
Kaylee

By Kaylee on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
Our computers have helped us a lot not only have they helped 5th grade they have helped 4th grade too.The little computers make 5th grade a little bit easier and more exciting.We almost do everything in our little computers we do todays facts,dictionaries,writing like a patch or an essay,we blog,we do our spelling tests on the computers,and we go on our wiki.Our computers help us so much because instead of doing our spelling test on paper we do it in our little awesome computers.If 6th grade doesnt have little computers I dont now what Im going to do.I mean we do every thing on this little things we go to DE SCIENCE which is filled of learning stuff,and you can find experiments and lots of other things to do.Our computers are full of everything you need but we can only use it to do school work and we cant go on to different web pages only the ones Miss.V tells us to.I remember the first day we got our computers I was so excited to see them and all I thought about was on how we were going to use them.I never imagined going on all these great places like DE SCIENCE Its not just full of human body things its full of animal things,plant things and expierements.If your out there and didnt believe anything I said you have to see It to belive it so If you have time stop by and see everything were doing here at East In our little computers.

Your friend
Jessica

By Jessica on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

Here is my story on how these laptops have made a difference in my 5th grade year. Having the computers for writing is much easier because we can make the fount bigger and all kinds of different things to help express ourselves in our writing. It helps us keep things where we want them and we practice everyday on our keybord, typewriting and it is really cool! We can finally work on our stories and other things without writing them on a piece of paper and that never used to happen before and we can comment on our classroom blogs, like we're doing right now. It just makes life easier in the classroom. I'm gonna miss the laptops next year and I hope that I can get one of the laptops for Christmas next year! 5th grade next year is looking forward to a great year with amazing technology because with out these laptops school wouldn't be nearly as fun! I really love these laptops because we would never be able to do spelling tests online! We just got a Smartbord mounted in our room and we would never be able to use all this technology! We even have a blog so visit www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com and we even have a wiki so visit www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com. It is so fun having these laptops and it is cooler that we can have blogs and stuff like that. You can come visit our school for a day and see how we use our technology! We would love you to see our wonderful new technology! It really helps me with many things! You got to see it to believe it! Its true!

Sincerely,
Angelica U

By Angelica U. on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Dan Mass,
Here is my story on why these eees's have helped us in our lives as a fifth grader this year. These mini computers help us in literacy when we do our spelling test we can do it online and guess what we can even print it because our printer is wireless. I really never thought 5th grade was going to be fun but boy was I wrong.I used to not like writing but know I keep looking at the time and inside I am saying,”is it time for writing yet?”If you don't believe me come visit us at East Elementary.You have to see it to believe it because your eyes will pop out.All those people who say that the eee's haven't helped us as a fifth grader we specifically want you to come see us.I don't like to brag but these computers are awesome and so is my class and I. Do you know what a wiki is because I sure do.We used to save on our old school jump drives but my amazing wonderful teacher came up with a way to save online. We also have our very own page please do visit us and blog on our website at www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com we will be waiting to hear what you have to say.The funnest website that I like to go on these eee's is DE Science it is super fun and you get to find out what all these words mean without going on a dictionary.So all I am trying to do is prove to all you people that don't believe that these eee's have helped,well come see it for yourself.
Sincerely,
Lupita

By Lupita on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
I looked on your blog and said “what people don't like our mini laptops”I said this because they do help us in our classroom especially during writing. We use them to do a lot of fun things like do our spelling, watch videos through DE Science, blog, wiki, and type writing assignments .The thing we do on spelling is get our mini laptop and do our spelling test at the end of each week. Now here is my story .When we first got our laptops I thought that they were for the teachers. But then my computer teacher Mrs.Kay started calling the students to get there laptop for the year.That change school for my class because we started using them almost every day for writing and blogging. But the thing it really changed was the technology.That's my story and that's why I want the people who don't like the new mini laptops to come to 5th grade to see them and see my 5th grade class using them.I am saying this because you have to see it to believe it!

Sincerely,
Richard

By Richard on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
I enjoy having laptops because at home I don't get the opportunity to type on a computer or laptop. We do a lot with laptops.We go to websites,such as DE Science,fact monster,and spelling city. Before we couldn't do everything on a laptop in the classroom,we had to go to the computer room.The computer teacher Mrs.Kay would help us. Now we don't have to go to the computer room. We can do everything on our laptops,without the teacher helping us. In I.G.R,our reading teachers Mr.Moore,and Miss.VanderVelde have us do our work on the computers, they created a blog for us to post our assignments on and comment on others. For Miss.VanderVelde we read a non-fiction book, on the back of the book theres questions and we answer them on our on computers.For Mr.Moore we do a summary, response to how a discussion begins,and we respond to each others work.I hope that next year,we have laptops to type on because it is easier to do everything,especially typing for writing.If you don't believe me,I invite anyone to come to East Elementary and watch how 5th graders use the laptops all day.
Sincerely,
Mirican

By Mirican on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
Here is my part of the story before someone else takes it. Before if I didn't have this computer it was hard to do lots of stuff hand written and it was hard to erase and erase and erase and then start over. But now the triple e's have helped us with lots of things like science and writing and other school work like writing patches on them and writing summaries.The triple e's even have its own games to play like puingun race and video recoding and other fun stuff to do just without going on the internet witch is kind of fabulous and they are very educating to us students in 5th grade. These triple e's also make us happy because they are fun to play on in computer club with sir Mr. Moore and ma'am Mrs. V. When I first tried to type on these triple e's during writing I would on accident press other keys witch messed me up. If I didn't have a triple e in 6th grade I would be torn apart to be taken away from them. It helps me a lot.If we did not have these we would not be able to print all the stuff we have printed now such as our cognitive content dictionaries, our essay's, and our fiction stories.If we didn't have these triple e's we would not have the website of www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com and www.dragonpogoda.blogspot.com. These websites help us with a lot of things.One more site you can go to is that helps us if you want to know is www.unitedstreaming.com. If we didn't have these web sites we would not have places to save our work besides in a document folder. If we only saved in a document folder the world would not see how much we have grown as writers this year. Although I have not figured out how to use all the keys but I can kind of figure it out just by playing around on it in a document to see witch buttons do what like TAB helps by indenting, which helps if your writing a story. I think fifth grade next year is up for a treat. Believe me this technology is the real stuff. YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT.


Sincerly,
Andrew

By Andrew on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan and Earth, Having a laptop computer helps students because they are more interested because we have technology. What happens in our classroom that we couldn't have before is that we have our own computer instead of going to the computer lab. If we didn't have triple e's I would feel kind of weird because I'm so used to the triple e computers around. The next years 5th graders can look forward to is the triple e's and the Dragon Pagoda and everything in between like Cal-Wood and the dissections.

By Dzenad on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Mass

I love having the laptops as a fifth grade student. In my writing it helps me because when I write it wont take as much paper even though it will when you print. Like when we wrote our essays it would have taken a long time to write but when we typed them it didn't take as long to type. Another thing that I think I have learned a lot more with the laptops instead of a teacher talking all of the time. I am able to work at my own pace which really seems to work for me.

The thing that happens in our class is now that we know how too use the eee laptops, is that we can blog which is a place where we can look at what other people said to a post and we can do our own post to. Our class really enjoys the websites, fact monster, spelling city ,and discovery education.

If 6th grade doesn't have these types of computers or a little different computers I will not be very happy because I have learned so much by having one at my fingertips daily.

Lastly, the 4th graders should know what is coming because they will be able to do all of the stuff that we do like the wiki and go to www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com and blog at www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com. they can even make their own little play on them from the web cam.

You should try and ask some people that think the computers aren't making it easier for kids to come and see us.

Your friend,
Jeffrey

By Jeffrey on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Dan Mass,

I think that having a laptop computer helps me and other students with writing because it has a dictionary and it is faster with typing than hand writing things. What happens in my classroom is that the other students are satisfied with our computers and they think that they are great and we use them everyday until the last day of school. Next year I would feel sad if we do not have the laptops because then how would we do our work and plus I love the wireless connection,they would have to look forward to having to save stuff to the computers and the jump drives (computer savers),also the they can't take the computers home but they can take home the jump drives. in addition they would need to have a special licenses to so that would/could be cool for them to have.
Dominique

By Dominique on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
Having laptop computers helps students write better because it makes us think a little more instead of writing it on a piece of paper. Another reason is that we type faster and we learn how to do it. What happens now in class is that we get to take tests on our laptops and on almost in every subject we use the laptops. For example in science we use the website discovery education to learn more. Another example is on our blog the Dragon Pagoda - there's lots of learning sites and we use them a lot. Next year I would feel sad because we wouldn't have the computers. I think that's a ripoff because we got used to them and in middle school we won't have the triple e's. The other thing is that they should try to gives us some. The next year's 5th grade students have to look forward to Cal-Wood because it's exciting and active. The other thing they have to look for is all the technology its really cool and exciting to use.
Sincerely
Esmeralda

By Esmeralda on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass & Mason,
I think having our laptops help students write better because when we write in journals our hands start to hurt. I'm not saying that they don't when we type on the computers but not as quickly and not as much, which means we get a better chance of writing more. In addition, I could think of better ideas whether it's for a prompt or just for free write. Things happen in our classroom now that we have laptops that couldn't happen before is usually we would have to read with holding the books but now we can just go online and have them read to us, or we can still read them to our self online. Also, since everyone has there own laptops for the year it's easy for everyone to search something up at the same time. Now that we have laptops in our classroom that we won't have next year, I feel disappointed and I probably will not enjoy writing as much. Although every once and a while we would get to type some of our stories on the computer it wouldn't be as much as now. Also, next year we would only get to type our final copies. I think next years 5th grade students coming to our class need to look forward to all of the great technology such as the smart board. The best thing about the smart board is it can do everything that the projector can do but more. They should also look forward to going the trip on Cal-Wood, having the laptops, and just having fun.

Torsha

By Torsha on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas

I think the computers make us better writers because we have more writing resources online and I feel it's been a lot easier and different. Also I can write a lot more with the computers than by hand so there's cramping and hurting. The blog of course! We couldn't go to the computer lab that often to check the blog and Power Point Presentation to write our realistic fiction. I thought my writing was a lot better the first time I used the computers. At my old school they had a few laptops for the whole school would feel sad not to have the computers because these computers are so cool I couldn't bear to leave them. I hope that Middle school has computers. I look forward too going to middle school but I thought about the computers and now I want to stay here and be with the computers. They have many things to look up to in 5th grade like Cal-Wood, dissections, and simulations. Most of all the computers. They will definitely get better grades and have more fun with learning.

By Sophia on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
I think having a laptop computer help students write better because it is a lot easier than writing it all out on paper. Plus if you make a mistake in your writing, instead of crossing it out you can just click where you made the mistake and fix. It also helps students write better because it doesn't hurt your hands as much when you are writing on a piece of paper. Now that we got computers it really is easier then paper and pen. Another reason it helps students write better is because if you misspell a word and you don't know how to spell it correctly, there is spell check and you could find the word there. What happens in our classroom now that we have laptops that we could not do before is we can go on the internet and we could go where the teacher tells us, and we have sheets with questions on them. To answer the questions we go on the internet and find the place we need to go and answer the questions on the sheets. It really changed because it is a whole lot easier to just go on our computers instead of the class going into the computer lab. Plus it takes more time to get everybody in the computer and also to get everybody situated. It is a big change for me because I like to type more then writing with pen and paper.
Next year I will feel weird and not that happy because we wouldn't have the laptops, but not just the laptops but also all the technology in the room like the Smart Board the document camera and many more technology. I would feel so weird because you would go back to pen and paper and no more typing on the laptops. I would hate to leave 5th grade without the laptops and the rest of the technology have, I would defiantly be heart broken to never see the technology when I go to middle school. I would feel weird because going through a day without a laptop would be torture. I think it would be worst then detention.
Next year's 5th grade students coming to our classroom would have to look forward to many things like the laptops, Smart board, document camera, clickers, the four day three night Cal-Wood trip. The other things that next year 5th grade students would look up to are the heart digestions and also the eye digestions. Here is some information about the digestions, the heart digestions are harder then the eye digestion because it is harder to cut, plus it is not that as fun as the eye. But in the end they're both really fun. Most importantly they would look forward to two best teacher, Mr. Moore and Mrs. Vander Velde. They're fun to hang out with and comfortable to be around.
Sincerely,
Julyssa

By Julyssa on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I am thrilled and amazed to see how much these students enjoy writing. It is obvious it is something they look forward to on a daily basis. The computers are a wonderful tool for the students to use. They seem to be more aware of the world and of the opportunities that surround them. It is still the hard work and dedication of Kay Bolerjck, Nicolette VandeVelde and Chris Moore along with everyone involved at East Elementary that has brought this fantastic use of technology to life. I am truly impressed!
Sincerely,
Diane Duckworth

By Diane Duckworth on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Impressive East Elementary students! Your writing ability is really showing and I enjoy reading the passion you have for your eee's. Thanks for sharing.

Keep the posts coming everyone!

By Mason on   3/11/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
I think having a laptop helps students write better because we get more information. I think we write more because we have our laptops with us. Now that we have laptops we know that there are things we couldn't do before. One thing that could not happen before is, there would have been a lot of hand writing and maybe other kids don't like that a lot. I think with the computers we're more quiet. If we didn't have them next year it would be really hard I think for all of us and I think I will feel like not super sad but disappointed and a little sad because I think I learned a lot with the computers and what I learned I will take into middle school. The next 5th grade students have to look forward to that fact that some stuff is pretty hard in 5th grade it's not easy the work we do but I think they are smart kids and maybe they will do good in 5th grade.
Sincerely
Anna Karen

By Anna Karen on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
I think that having a laptop computer helps us write better because all students like computers, and before, nobody liked it when the teacher said it's writing time, but now that we have the computers, kids can't wait for writing time. With the computers it's easier because we get to type out our stories and essays, and we don't need the teachers help because the computers tell us when we made a mistake and we can right click on the word, and it spells it for us. My main point is that the computers make us want to do stuff we didn't like to do before. For example, every Friday we have a spelling test, and before we had the computers, we had to organize the paper, and label it and everything, but with the computers, we can just go to spelling city, and the test is there waiting for you.
Something that happens in our classroom that could not happen before, is that Mr. Moore can trust us with going on the internet and finding stuff out ourselves and he's letting us try things on our own. Also we get to use the computers for almost everything and Mr. Moore feels confident that we can go on the computers and do our job. Another thing that happens in our classroom that could not happen before, is that we can use the computers 24/7, because the teachers see that the computers are helping us.
If I didn't have laptop computers in my classroom next year, I would feel really weird and sad, because we have had the computers for almost all of 5th grade, and we learned how to do a lot of stuff on the computers, and then to just take them away would be a real bummer.
Next year 5th grade students have to look forward to the laptops, the smart board, the document camera, the T.V., Cal-Wood, and 2 great teachers who will teach them all they need to know.
Sincerely,
Admira

By Admira on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
I think having a laptop computer helps the students write better because when kids write with paper and pen, they really don't like writing that way because it makes their hands get tired and writing like that is pretty boring. Even if the kids have struggles with writing on the computer and also using both hands to write, they probably feel more comfortable with their hands resting on the laptop. Also, the work we do gets much more organized. For example, in writing, when we made mini stories (short stories-sort of like chapters) for our realistic fiction story, we did it on the computer and we used the presentation, which was pretty neat, because we could get a slide for each mini story, and that way, it was very organized. Adding to my answer, the students, with a happy heart, write more, and get excited. Mixing Mr. Moore's teaching of writing and the computers, kids get really excited to write. Even right now, I don't want to stop typing. My hands get all itchy to type.
A thing that happens in my classroom now that I have laptops that couldn't happen before is learning with games; for example, for multiplication and division facts, we go to this website and play games that will develop our multiplication and division skills.
I wouldn't be sad or anything because we might not have them in 6th grade, but I will miss typing in class and the smart board. I haven't explained to you yet what a smart board is, well, it is like a movie screen and a projector- except the smart board is actually touchable. In other words, it's like a movie screen, but with abilities of a mouse and a keyboard, which is pretty cool. I wouldn't as much miss the laptops, but I really will miss the smart board.
Next year's 5th graders are looking forward mostly to Cal-wood. It is a trip we go to up in the mountains. Most of the 5th graders have experienced Cal-wood and it was a blast! Since the trip is in the nature, there are fresh air and animals. That's not all, but I think I should stop here because the list will go on forever. Oh, and we stayed in cabins that were pretty big. All that was in it were several bunk beds, a trash can, and a heater. My favorite experience was when we did a scavenger hunt. We actually had to search for these clips hanging on trees with maps, and it wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. The instructors there are very nice. Another thing they're looking forward to are the laptops. I bet they are really exhilarated for the amazing stuff that are coming their way. Added to that, the smart boards. There's one in the music room, but I bet that they are thrilled to know that there's going to be one of them in their very own classroom. Even I am very excited to use it through the rest of the year. 4th graders better be ready for the mouth-opening shock awaiting them. I just can imagine how they will feel. The first time we got all the technologies, our happiness were overflowing.
Your friend,
Narah

By Narah on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Everyone,

Yes, having laptop computers helps us. For example we can move the text around and if we want to put it where we want it. My next example is that you can edit when we type. My last example is that we have spell check so if we write a word wrong you can look there and find the correct spelling of the word. There are more things for the other subjects. Like going to the Dragon Pagoda or to DE Science and a lot more links we can go to for many subjects. One thing that happens in my class room is that I like to write because of the computers. I don't mean write with just the laptops but with paper and pen also. Now that I have laptops in my classroom I will feel strange, next year I wouldn't have them because we do almost everything with them. The next year's 5th grade students coming to my classroom have to look forward to Cal-wood, the smart board, the clickers, and the triple e's.
Sincerely Denisse

By Denisse on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
I think that having a laptop definitely improves the writing. It helps because you are free to just put all of your ideas right on to a document. I also think that kids are writing better because it is their first time doing it on their own computer in school, so in that case they are excited to type and work on stories. Some things that happen in our classroom now that we have the laptops that could not happen before are we get to do all of our writing assignment on the computer, we get to blog to each other and to our awesome teacher Mr. Moore. I would be very sad if I didn't have the laptops in sixth grade. I also think that I wouldn't do so well grade-wise because I have definitely seen improvement in my grades since we got the laptops. They definitely have to look forward to using the computers a lot. They will especially use them during writing and science. Another thing they have to look forward to is using a lot of technology like the smart board and the laptops. The final thing they have to look forward to is going to Cal-Wood. I think that all of the fourth graders will have a blast there.

Your friend,
Nathan

By Nathan on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas and Mason,

Having a laptop computer helps students write better because when they are writing they can change things much easier than on paper. Things that happen in our class room now that we have laptops that could not happen before are that I actually want to write now and that is a huge change for me and look how I have improved:

Suddenly there was a black figure walking toward them from the driveway. It was a monster Bill thought. A dangerous blood sucking monster thought Garey. As the figure came closer and closer Garey realized it was his dog poler. A big fat hairy dog.

The reason this is different from what I would actually write is because I hated writing so much in all my other grades that all my writing would have sounded like this:

Bill and Garey saw something coming. Garey saw that it was his dog.

Now that we have had laptops in our classroom, I would feel very disappointed if we had the computers taken away because for some weird reason when I get inspired I know I can write better. What next year's 5th grade students coming to our classroom look forward to are the trip to Cal-Wood, the dissections, the smart board, and of course the computers.

Sincerely,
Crystal

By crystal on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass, 3-12-09
Having the computers helps the students write better by editing and revising. On a piece of paper you have to cross it out and change it. But on a computer you can just erase it and put the right direction. When my class didn't have the computers it was hard to do writing. If we wanted to type, practicing our multiplication and division facts or if we wanted to play math games to help us it was hard because we didn't have these computers. Now that we have them it is easier to do writing and all of the other subjects. If I didn't have this laptop next year I would feel upset and sad. I would feel this way because I really like using them and I enjoy using them. I would then beg my Mom to buy me a laptop like this one so I won't be upset and sad. Next year the students will look forward to having the little laptops. The students will also be looking forward to many exciting things. One of them is a dissection. The students dissect a pig's heart and a cow's eye.
Sincerely,
Chantel

By Chantel on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass
The laptop helps because when I get something wrong the laptop fixes it when I'm wrong and when I mean something else. Having a laptop changed my grades. Everyone can practice spelling and math like studying for the test and having fun while learning your spelling words and mad minute facts. Next year without laptops I will probably not get such good grades,I won't get that many high scores - I will probably get low scores. Students coming to our classroom are looking forward to having laptops and having really cool things so they should take care of it because they really cost a lot.
Sincerely
Ana

By Ana on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,

The computer helps us by fixing misspelled words when we don't know if a word is misspelled. Writing now is why better than writing with a pen or pencil. I would be sad next year because we would not be able to use the computers to help us with writing,it wont help us to fix mess spelled words. I would feel sad because we wouldn't be able to use the computers it wont help us with writing mess spelled words. The 5th next would have to look forward to use the computers,smart board,and more things.

Sincerely,
Ruben T

By Ruben T on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,

Having the laptops helps students write better not just because it's easier to type, but it's also making students want to write more. It is also helping us with our spelling and grammar. Something that we can do now that we have our own computers is blogposts like I'm doing right now. We can also go to places like DE Science and do our own expirements. We are also taking our spelling test on the computer. It would feel strange to me if I didn't have a laptop in the classroom next year. I would also miss blogging and all that stuff. I would also feel bored without the laptops next year. Next year's 5th graders have a lot to look forward to. The very first thing they have to look forward to is Cal-Wood. The biggest thing to look forward to is the computers.


Sincerely,
Arturo

By Arturo on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Thanks to you all for letting us know how you feel - what is really working and what we need to change to fit your 21st century needs. I do all my writing on the computer - so why would it be different for any other student. I struggle with the size of the key board, but it is certainly bigger than any phone screen.

By Karen Goodwin on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Wow! Wednesday morning, just minutes after the 5th graders finished session 3 of the Science CSAP, I entered Mr. Moore’s classroom to find a group of kids busily writing on their triple e’s. The tone was serious and the students were ALL engaged in their writing. As it turns out, they were responding to a blog posting they had received in regards to how well they are utilizing their triple e’s in order to support their academic achievement. Later Wednesday evening, when I logged on to the 5th graders blogspot, I could see several of these students responses posted for others to view. The power of technology is just AMAZING!
I have worked with the 5th grade students from both Mr. Moore’s and Miss Vander Velde’s class throughout the school year. I specifically provide support to the students in their reading and writing development. I have seen firsthand how the students and 5th grade teachers are using all the technology tools in their classroom to support their students’ academic growth. From, triple e’s, to smart boards, to clickers, document cameras, blogs and wikis, the students are constantly being exposed to and using tools necessary for 21st century learning success. I see 5th graders using technology to support ALL subject areas. The triple e’s are used to support all phases of the writing process. They are also used to help the students with vocabulary and spelling development. The students can read grade-level literature or have literature read to them while using their triple e’s. This helps promote their comprehension and fluency skills. I am also aware that students support their literacy development through the content areas by using the triple e’s to access Discovery Science and reputable social studies websites.
I am pleased that East Elementary has had the opportunity to incorporate so many technological tools to support our students in 5th grade. Our 5th graders definitely use their resources wisely and appreciate their availability. One really must stop in our school to see just how well these resources are being used to assist our students. Trust me; you will be awestruck by the high level of learning taking place!

Gina Maestas

By Gina Maestas on   3/12/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I have had the pleasure of working in both Mr. Moore and Ms. Vander Velde's 5th grade classroom during writing this year as a literacy coach. I must say, I am amazed and blown away at their students' motivation to write. In both of their classrooms, writing is a subject that all students look forward to; in fact, both classes voted to give up their afternoon recess in order to create more time for writing! I think the EeePC's are a major contributing factor to the shared enthusiasm for writing.

As a direct result of the increased motivation, students are writing more and more often. Research suggests that when students are given more time to write, their attitudes toward writing improve. Increasing positive attitudes in students is one way to help raise student achievement.

As well, the quality of writing in both classrooms has dramatically improved. Just yesterday, I was listening to students share out parts of their fiction stories they had created on the EeePC's; I was blown away at the abilities of those students. The writing craft they have fostered is amazing! I feel this is a direct result of having the opportunity to use technology as a means of teaching and learning the writing process. Also, students were able to manipulate their stories on the EeePC's in the blink of an eye; they are learning and practicing the literacies of the 21st century.

I am pleased that these fifth graders have been given the opportunity to learn through the EeePC's. I am seeing first-hand the difference these machines are making on students' abilities to write, and write well.

Heather Meesey

By Heather Meesey-Johnson on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

1. Having a laptop helps students write better by having the ability to post our writing on the wiki and being able to highlight parts of stories or essays that need work.
2. In our classroom, now that we have laptops we are able to explore the internet for projects. Before we could never have done this.
3. Now that we have laptops in the classroom, if we didn't I would probably feel a little mad because we wouldn't have internet, spell check, or word documents. Although these laptops are sometimes annoying and it's very stressful when they aren't working.
4. I think next years 5th graders can look forward to having internet almost all the time and word documents to write reports.
Thanks,
Haley

By Haley on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
Well, I love to have these little laptops in our classroom. It also helps me write better because I am a better typer then a writer with a pencil and paper. I would rather type so that I can get things done quicker. I can do all my projects and post it on my teachers wiki so that all my class can see all my hard work. I can also take home all my things that I need to take home because I can work on my laptop and save everything onto my thumb drive. It makes everything so much easier.
Plus, now that we have the laptop in the classroom, we can play math games and stuff like that. When we didn't have them, we had to play with old flash cards and games that were to easy for me. But now I can find the correct game, the perfect level.
I would be crushed if I didn't have then next year. I love them! I can do a lot more on them than I can do on paper.
Next year, 5th grade students can look forward to a fun year with these little things that they will love. They are so cool to type on. It helps me understand how to work on the computer. Also, I'm sure my whole class agrees with me.

Sincerely,
Hopkins, 5th grade student, Katie

By Katie on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

1. How does having laptop computers help students write better?
Having laptops help students write better because when you do a first draft and final then you don't have to waste time erasing or using a new piece of paper all you need to do is hit delete. Also it is much easier to keep track of than a ton of papers that you might throw away when you think you don't need them. If we have a research paper then we can get on the internet to look things up without having to wait our turn up at the front.

2.What happens in your classroom now that you have laptop that couldn't happen before you had laptops?
Some thing that can happen now that we have the laptops that we couldn't happen before we had them is we can all go on the internet at the same time, have typed reports, and play more games. We get to make slide shows and other presentation without a hassle.

3.Now that you had the laptops in your class room how would you feel if you didn't have them next year?
If next year I didn't have the laptops I would feel frustrated that I couldn't do anything on my own computer and I would have to share the class computer to play games or do reports.

4.What do next year's 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?
Next years 5th grade students have great laptop games, access to the internet, a video camera, and many other great tools on the laptop to look forward to.

Brianna

By Brianna on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas,
The laptops help the kids in all areas. It helps the kids become better students. If there were not any laptops in our school they wouldn't be good students and they wouldn't do their work that well. Next year fourth graders will look forward to good luck because if we didn't have laptops they couldn't do their spelling on line and they couldn't type their writing on the laptops.
Sincerely,
Manuela (East fifth grade parent)

By Manuela on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,
Having a laptop computer helps us write better because now it is not that easy to make a mistake and if you write a story and someone is thinking you can just change the font to show internal dialog, like they do in real books. You can also change the size really quick with out having to erase everything and start over. If you want to change the color of the text you just highlight everything and chose your color. What happens now that could not happen before is that now we have access to the internet. So now we can go on to a math web site or a spelling site and that will help us on our tests, and now that we are doing a current event for homework we can go on the internet and get an article. Now students can't wait for math, writing, and science because we get to use the laptops and it is way more fun with the laptops. How I am going to feel next year because I won't have my own laptop next year is that I am going to be a little depressed, because I won't have access to the internet, so that means that I will have to go back to the boring paper and pencil, and no more math games and science games or documents. I also wouldn't be able to change the text in any way. What next year's 5th graders expect is that they will be getting their own computer. They will also be getting a lot of technology that they did not have in 4th grade, like the clickers, the projector and the SMART Board.
Sincerely,
Diana

By Diana on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
The triple e's are a big help in class because they are bringing up some of my grades. Mostly in writing because when we write a story and it is time to type it on the laptop's it is fun, therefore, I want to write more. It is so nice to have the laptop's it makes 5th grade so much easier and it makes learning more fun. These triple e's are so helpful if we did not have them we wouldn't be able to take a spelling test online or even have a blog that is filled with posts, or use any good technology. Now talking about tecnology we just got a smart board which is super cool. Our teacher does not have to try to walk over all 25 of us to get to her computer to type something, or change to a different website. She can do it all with the touch of her finger. If we did not have them next year in middle school I would be dissapointed because I would wonder how our lifes would be. I would be so sad and heart broken. These are cool little laptops not many schools get to have these but we are so lucky. The laptops are helping us in many subjects.If you want to see what we are mostly doing on the triple e's come on over. If you don't think these laptops are helping well you are wrong. I encourage you can visit our blog at www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com. We also have a wiki you can see it at www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com so you can see what we are doing with these laptops. The next years 5th graders are up to a great year with these laptops.

Your Friend,
Isabel

By Isabel on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas
This is my story on how the computers have changed my writing and science. The computers help me in my writing,by typing faster.Ever since we got the laptops for writing I type faster than ever...Just a little bit, I think. Ever since we got the laptops in my class room we do amazing stuff , We can go to De since, spelling city where we do our spelling. If I didn't have the laptops in middle school it well be really sad, because it well be hard to type any stories or stuff we need to find on the internet.What I think that the 4th graders are in for a big surprise, because we have a new smart board and the laptops where they can type their stories and stuff like that. I think that the lap tops have helped me a lot in writing, and in since.

your Friend
Angelica .C


By Angelica .C on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,
The way the computers help us write better is because we can type. A lot of us like to type more than write with our hands. We can also print documents that we have made. We also take spelling test on here on a website called Spelling City. It is very affective. Now in our classrooms we can learn on the computers. For example, during science we go on to a website called D.E Science. That is were we learn the meaning of words that are about what we are learning about. Before we would learn from the teacher and sit at our desks. If we don't have these laptops next year it will not make school as fun and we will have to go back to the same old boring school. These computers make school so much fun. What the 4th graders have to look for in 5th grade is the laptops for sure. The laptops have games that are fun. I know for sure what you thought. It also teaches us at the same time. These computers can make learning very fun. We have a lot of awesome technology in our room. We have a smart board the teacher can teach on. What ever is pulled up on her computer will show on the smart board when it's on. You can even scrolle down and up by using the smart board. Not just this but when you take one of the colored pens out of the holder you can write with it on the smart board. We also have something called clickers. Each of us get to have our own remote and when Ms. V puts together this slide show type thing we can have a lot of quizzes on one subject. You can visit our blog at www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com. There are many posts that we have commented on. We also have a wiki called www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com. This is were we save all of are work. You can go here and check out all of our work. You should tell all of your friends to come to these two sites. And tell them to invite their friends. We will take as many people as we want to come to these sites. You have to see it to believe it.
From,
Jody

By Jody on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Dan Maas,
I like a father of the family am very proud because my daughter Lupita is the future with triple E's.I'm very thankful for Dan Maas for letting the 5th grade at East Elementary be part of them.Wow!I never thought Lupita would ever like writing so much.When we would tell her that it was time for her to write her patch she would say.”I don't like doing them.”But know she gets on the computer and does her patch on there without us having to tell her.That amazes me and even brings a little tear in my eye.So thanks for everything Dan Maas!
From,
Lucio

By Lucio(Parent of student at East Elementry) on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops


Dear Mr.Mass,
The eee 's are a big help to me and all the kids that get to use them because if we didn't have them we couldn't go to De Science and find the definition of our vocabulary word it that even gives us a video. If we didn't have the laptops we couldn't get on the internet and take our spelling test in line. Another good reason that the laptops are helpping us is in writing our essay, fiction story, and all are stories because if we didn't have this eee's we will have to go to the computer lab and print and write our stories but no not anymore because we had this wounderful laptops that help us in everything. After the beginning of the year before I coulldn't type fast but when I got this computers I start to type faster. If I didn't get this computer next year I'm going to get really upset because I already got use to them.We can even go to our blog. It is www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com We can also go into our wiki to do our Cogntive content Dictionary we also do our bookjackets and other stuff. His latops have been part of our life as fifth graders they are also life savers because when we need to use them there are here for us.The site for the wiki is www.eastdragonden.pbwiki.com.We can also go to www.spellingcity.com to take our spelling test online because we can have a sentence with it.When it comes on writing I can be organize with my writing because iif I write in my journal the next day I can find the story I write but if I use the computer I can be organize and find the stor the next day. Another good reason I like to use laptops are that we can go to different sites.We can also play games with them like math,spelling games,and much more. Next year 5th graders are going to love this computers because this laptops are going to help them on there writing ,going to the blog,going to spellingcity,going to fact monster,and much more. The site for fact monster is www.factmonster.com. Another thing that fifth grade is going to look forward is getting there on password to go to there on wiki and doing there book jacket and stuff like that.That is my story of the eee's.You have to see it to belive it.Just vistied us when you have time at East Elmentry.

Your friend, Evelin

By Evelin on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,

I think these laptops have helped my daughter a lot and they where a good experience for the students. All students families can't afford computers/laptops so it helps them a lot! My daughter told me about the spelling she can do on the computer, her fiction story, dragon pagoda, and even their class wiki. I think this is so exciting for them to have such a great experience with these laptops/computers! I wish that when I was younger that I could have have this experience with the change of technology. She even told me that they just got a new Smart board. It is such a great opportunity for the students with great technology!

Sincerely,
Parent of East Student

By Parent of East Student on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
Laptops help us in all areas,it also helps my child become a better student.If there were no laptops my child couldn't write on her own laptop.Next year I might be sad if there is no laptops because my child uses laptops all day in school..Next year fourth graders look forward to good luck because they can do their spelling tests online and write patches and more writing on their computers.I hope students have laptops in middle schools.

Sincerely,
Manuela

By Manuela(parent of student at East Elementary on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

My thanks to all who responded to your questions. Very insightful into a year in the life of 5th grade classrooms with access to laptops, wireless, teachers who embraced the use of eee's, staff at the school and district who helped make this all possible, etc. etc. etc. Thanks too, for the folks who wrote and won the grant from CDE for this project. I'll be interested in hearing more about it as we finish up the study and school year.

By Renee Howell on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,

The new Triple eee laptops are pretty cool. I could not imagine how boring this classroom would be without the laptops. These are some example's that I can do that I couldn't do with out them: writing essays with out scheduling a meeting to type in the computer lab, I can do them right know in my class room Blogging on our own blog (the old we used to use) www.digitaldragons.blogspot.com But know we don't use it anymore. another example is what we do on our computers we do something called a cognitive content dictionary, a grid that has a signal word, a prediction, and a final meaning. We get the signal word and prediction from a website called www.unitedstreaming.com or www.discoveryedgucation.com. We also go on a website called www.spellingcity.com it's a place where we do our spelling test. Also we have created in my IGR group 2 blogs called www.literaturegroupa.blogspot.com and www.readinggroupa.blogspot.com . You can navigate through both of these blogs through www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com . Now what I think of this school as not just a memory I can push away and forgot in my childhood memories, this is the knowledge of power (the future one looks like it). With our 5th grade blog www.dragonpagoda.blogspot.com. We are looking forward not to just be famous, to be the kids of the century to be the educated kids.Also come visit our wiki www.eastdragondeen.pbwiki.com. Maston Please come and visit us. Please change your mind,(I promise you will when you see us). Remember you have to see it to believe It!



East Elemantry Student,

Hamadi

By Hamadi on   3/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Speaking from the experiences of being in and out of these (2) classrooms since the inception of the EEE's, I can honestly say it has brought a wonderful since of relevance to our 5th grade student's--thus increasing their desire and motivation to take their learning to a new level. Being in and out of our classrooms throughout the building, I see many different styles and methods of delivering content. Our 5th grade student's are "cognitively engaged" when it comes to taking in their daily Writer's Workshop lessons. Certainly, it has a lot to do with the teacher delivering and connecting students with the content. Our teachers have worked very hard at developing positive, caring relationships with their students. The combination of the EEE's and this deep connection to our kid's has transformed the (51) 5th graders at East. Leveling the learning playing field by providing easy access could be one of the major reasons for this transformation. On the other hand, having these little machines in front of them everyday has increased their critical thinking skills. and their ability to analyze and evaluate the information independently. As Mr. Maas said, "I wish I were in 5th grade", stands true to form with me. I can on imagine how different my life would be if I would have had the same opportunities our students have now. The sky is the limit. We have only scratched the surface at East. My hope is that EVERY student in our school will be using their own laptop some day. Dream big!!!

Greg Sumlin
Principal

By Greg Sumlin on   3/14/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas,
First of all, I want to thank you for this opportunity to pilot the EEE's in our 5th grade classrooms. I feel it has been very successful for many reasons. The students have obviously stated many of those reasons. I was impressed with their responses to your question, many of them were very inspiring. These students have proven what I knew to be true. If you engage 21st century learners with the technology , they will be engaged and motivated to learn. We are giving them the skills they will need to be successful and providing them the opportunities to take control of their learning. I feel that independently pursued and paced learning can have a strong impact on true knowledge. Which is achievable with the right tools, training and technique in place. The more we can expose these students to the tools they need the better. I know I very proud of our 5th graders as well as our school district for looking forward with effective technology integration in learning.

By Kay Bolerjack on   3/15/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I believe the laptops are a positive experience for both our students and teachers. I have been impressed with how well the technology has been integrated into the writing process. The laptops are a natural extension for the students. They are not just an extra thing or just cool, but rather the students and teachers use them as integrated parts of writing and learning. I love seeing kids writing, editing, revising and giving feedback in a way that they were never able to before. I have also seen the kids use the laptops to enrich their entire learning experience, especially in tracking their own learning through charts and data collection. We also have extraordinary teachers who have been the guiding force in this implementation. Without them, this would not be as successful. In the future, I would love to see this technology spread throughout my school.

Drew Brueckner
Principal

By Drew Brueckner on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Mass
Laptops have helped me write better by not making my writing messy.Also laptops have helped me write better by changing the writing of the letters like writing cursive.Laptops are more easier to write on and make people write even faster and easier to memorize the buttons.Using laptops makes writing funner and faster to write.
Jorge

By Jorge on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
The upcoming fifth graders should be looking forward to the laptops. On the eee's you can research on the web. Also, You can get on the exhibition wiki and the class wiki. On the wiki you can answer questions people have for yourself.

Jamie

By Jamie on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
Next years fifth graders have to look forward to the laptops.The laptops are so much fun!You can play games on them, go on the internet, and study.You will get to learn many things about computers, like writing, typing, or typing up on blogs. Next years fifth graders have a lot to look forward to, especially the laptops.
Koralia

By Koralia on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
Next years fifth graders have to look forward to the empathy,tolerance,and respect unit.It's really fun because you have a choice of which topic you want to study .All the information you get comes from the triple e's.You also get too do all the work on the computers.That's what I think next years fifth graders need to look forward to.

James

By James on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas, I liked the eee laptops because you can blog. Also, you could play typing games and math games. I was also able to do research and create a powerpoint. Ido not have a computer at home, so they gave me the opportunity to use a computer at school.
Eduardo

By Eduardo on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass
I think next year's 5th graders will have fun with the laptop by playing the games at free time. Also,they can write on the Wiki. Another, thing is that we did were blogs. Then, they could find information and find something that they didn't know before. The next year's 5th graders will be excited to use the laptops.
Daniela

By Daniela on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

I think the laptops that we got are great! It really helps us write better because it is easier to do capitals and it doesn't make our hands so tired. This is a really great improvement because before we got the laptops and only had paper and pencil I would write for about 3 minutes and then my hand would get tired and I'd have to stop for a little while which made me go slower. Now I get to type and I could type for two hours straight if I really wanted to!

Also before we had the laptops we didn't have a Wiki or even a Blog and it got kind of annoying always having to turn everything into our teacher by hand and this made it easier and better to turn in assignments. These laptops also gave me a chance to learn about websites and typing even more than I could ever imagine!

Next year, when I don't have laptops I'll feel sad because they were a lot of fun and they were much easier to use. I would really like it if we got laptops in the 6th grade that would be really awesome and then I could brag to my older brother even though that I had laptops for two years and he didn't. Even though he'll just
say it doesn't matter.(that's his new line.)

Next year's fifth graders should look forward to the Wiki and the Blog and learning how to type better. They should look forward to these things because I think these are the best thing and coolest thing about us having the laptops. Now ever since I got this laptop I learned how to type a lot faster and I know how to look for good sites and bad sites! So all I want to say is Thank You so much. This is the coolest and best grant anyone could ever ask for!
Your Friend,
Alicia

By Alicia on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

As a parent of a 5th grade student, I think the use of the eees has been a wonderful addition to the curriculum. Our son does not argue with us anymore when it comes to writing his patch 3 times a week. Writing is not such a chore when he can just type words on the laptop and then go back to make any spelling corrections. He loves to complete other homework as well on the laptops. His technology skills are advancing and we feel he will be optimally prepared for the work he will encounter in middle and high school. He even tells me how to do certain things on the computer. His confidence has boosted my confidence in willing to try new things. He even searches through CNN.com for current event articles.
As an English language teacher, I also see great benefits with the eees. The students learning English have great opportunities to expand their vocabulary, complete spelling or math games online and improve their English written skills. Many do not have access to computers at home or their parents do not have enough English to help with any homework. Using the laptops allows these students to explore on their own pace and practice academic areas more independently.
Keep up the great work!

Cindy Gothard
ELA teacher, East Elementary

By Cindy Gothard on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

How does having a laptop computer help students write better?
Having laptops at school is better because when you are using a piece of paper than you can't go to the internet but when you have a laptop than you can go there quick and easy. I think laptops are fun and easier to use than paper and pencil.


What happens in your classroom now that you have laptops that could not happen before?
Now that we have laptops in our class room we can use the internet and we could not do that with paper pencil and we would always have to us book for research. We all can now keep track of our staff on the computer



Now that you have had laptops classroom, how would you feel if you didn’t have them next year?
If I did not have the laptops last year then it would be okay but it would be nicer to have the laptops again.



What do next year’s 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?
They have to look forward to have a lot of assignments and research to do. and I am hoping that the 4th graders can get there work done because you do not want to miss out on the fun things that you will be doing.

Sydni :}- :)

By Sydni on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas

Having a laptop computer helps students write better by telling them if they spelled something wrong. Another thing is it can help with storing all of your stories in your jump drive without you having to go through your desk trying to find the stories that you wrote.
What happens in my classroom now that we have laptops that could not happen before is that many people are a lot more organized than before because we had to search for all the papers we needed which usually wasted our writing time.
Now that I have had Laptops in my classroom how I would feel if I didn't have them next your is sad because the laptops are a lot nicer to use, and they have games you can play. Also there are many other optional things like Spread Sheets or Presentation and more!
Next year's 5th grade students coming to my classroom have to look forward to new technology because they haven't used much technology besides the Dana's. I think the next 5th graders will love to use the laptops! Feel free to visit our wiki at www.mrsurbanek.wikispaces.com or our blog www.urbanek5thgraders.com!

Anna

By Anna on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear. Mr Maas,

Having a laptop helps students write better because then we can catch our spelling mistakes and be neater. I don't have that good of hand writing and the laptops make it so I can put down my ideas but still have people read it.
Things that happen in the room that happen now that didn't happen before is we couldn't go on the internet and play math games or even write in word doc. We use both of those more often that anything else we do.
Now that I have the laptops in the room I would feel disappointed if them didn't have them next year. The lap tops are so much easier then paper and pencil. It also provides learning games.
What the next year's 5th grade students coming to my class have to look forward to is an easier way to do things which will make 5th grade more fun because of the laptop's games and an easier writing way.

Katrina # 12

By Katrina on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Dan Maas,

These are my answers to your questions.

Having a laptop computer helps students write better because the laptops have spell check and the laptops use much better handwriting.

Now that we have laptops, something in our classroom that couldn't have happened before is we couldn't go on the internet.

Now that we have laptops, I would feel horrible if we don't have them next year because the laptops are amazing and can do anything! We can play games, go on the internet and more!

Somethings next year's 5th graders coming to our classroom might look forward to are the games and using the camera. One of the games is called penguin racer and you steer left and right to move your penguin. On the camera, click the pause button or hit the spacebar to “take a picture”.

Sincerely,
Cameron

(PS: If you want to know our wiki, go to mrsurbanek.wikispaces.com)

By Cameron on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

A laptop helps a student write better by having to type because when your in high school you are required to know how to type.

what happens in our classroom now that we have the laptops are we get to answer to blogs like this one, we get to have a portable dictionary, and for once, we finally get to use a electronic in school.

How I would feel if we didn't have the laptops next year in middle school would be okay with it. I own a laptop at home so there is no surprises for me with the laptops.

I for one, think that it is an amazing how small these things are and how easy it is to carry around. For example, if the teacher wanted to see how you are doing with your work, you can bring the laptop to her. Another thing is that how you get internet at school, because you never get to use real electronics at school so this is a great privilege to have a laptop. Sometimes the teacher lets us play game on the laptop too.

from,JOV☻

By jack on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

1.How does having a laptop computer help students write better?
I think the laptops help students write better by getting your work done a lot quicker and helping start a new piece for a teacher or a new assignment. Plus they help you get better at using your fingers a lot more. Also it's helping not be so sloppy. You don't have to use paper all the time and end up losing all the papers you have written.
2.What happens in your classroom now that you have laptops that could not happen before?
Some thing's that could happen now that couldn't happen with out the laptops are the writing gets done a lot quicker than it usually would. We can go on the internet and do work at the same time. Also, you don't wast paper.
3.Now that you have had laptops in your classroom, how would you feel if you didn’t have them next year?
If I didn't have the laptops next year I would feel l wasn't going to get my work done as fast as I could get it done with a laptop. I would also feel like paper was a waste of time when I could be using a laptop. I would feel disappointed because my life saver was being taken away from me.
4.What do next year’s 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?
The 5th graders next year will probably look forward to having the laptops and seeing how much easier it will be to type instead of handwriting every draft or paper. If I were a 4th grader I would look forward to having them, and if they weren't there then I would be very disappointed not to be able to use a mini wicked awesome laptop.
Sincerely,
Destinie, Hopkins Elementary

By Destinie on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
I think having a laptop computer helps students by letting us use the online thesaurus to find more vivid words! We also can have a quick spell check! We also don't have to take so many papers home that it's hard to carry our backpack, now our thumb drives just add a couple ounces. We also have an advantage to get our papers done early or on time! I also like that we can go onto all these educational games! We also can use this thing called Skype where we can talk to someone from somewhere over the world!
What happens in our classroom now that we have laptops that could not happen before is now we don't have to do research from just books, now we can do it from our laptops and the internet!
Now that we have had laptops in our classroom, I will feel weird not only that we're in a new environment, that we will not have our laptops to do research!
What next year’s 5th grade students coming to our classrooms have to look forward to is all the fun, but educational games, and the internet!

From,
Annie, Hopkins Elementary

By Annie on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

The laptops are really helpful in a ton of ways, and we need them a lot! They give us the opportunity to work on almost everything online, and our parents can see just what we're doing by typing in our wikispace address, which we all have a reading log and essay drafts on.
There are easier ways to write down our thoughts than a piece of paper and a pencil. It gives us no time to rest and think about how to spell “beautiful”, we just have no time. The laptops are improving our writing by helping us learn that when we have a thought in our head, just write it down, don't think about it! There is no time for us to rest when we type, so that's even less time taken up trying to spell a word.

Not having laptops next year would be difficult, but not horrible. It would be great if we did, though! The laptops let us do most of our work on our Wiki and on the Internet.

Some of the things that soon-to-be-5th-graders have to look forward to are having their own Class Wiki and Blog, doing lots of their work on a laptop, and being able to do work at home and carry around a bunch of papers on a single, compact thumb drive.

Sincerely,
Celeste, Hopkins Elementary

By Celeste on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Laptops

Our class has changed since we had the laptops because we would have been writing on paper all the time. Almost everybody use to struggle at computers now we are all experts. The next thing is, in addition to doing research on books you could go to the internet for free and it will be faster. When we do math at school we have rotations and one of our rotations are getting on the laptops and playing math games. That is how our class changed since we had the laptops.



1.Having a laptop helps students write better because there is spell check, you could go to the dictionary and the thesaurus, we could publish stuff on our wiki, and answer stuff on the blog. Instead of taking home a notebook, we take home the thumb drive and it is easier.

2.We can do very good research fast and also we can play math games and not waste paper. We also use the laptops to play games on free time and all this cool stuff like that.
3.If we did not have the laptops next year almost everybody will be sad because we are so used to doing all our work and researching on the laptops that we will be using papers and wasting it if we mess up.
4. The next year's 5th graders are looking forward to having something that are awesome and that helps kids write, do research, read, blog, play games, work on school stuff, and much more that they will never want to go to 6th grade because they might not have laptops.

Tarek, Hopkins Elementary

By Tarek on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

A laptop computer helps us work better by the chance of getting to write faster, and to do drafts better. We could start out with a draft and edit it easier. Our class has improved a lot since the laptops arrive. I think part of the reason our class has improved is because of the laptops. We can also research what we're writing about. For example, we could be writing about how to write this, and that, so that our teachers would be less busy, and we would be more independent, which we will have to be someday.
If I didn't have them next year, I would be quite disappointed because the laptops is so useful for many reasons. First, because your draft can be written faster. When your writing without a computer or a laptop it can take a while. Second, it makes me try to be more responsible. With a laptop, I feel I have to take care of my thumb drive. I also feel I have to take care of the laptop that I'm using. Third, it's nice being able to have fun while learning a lot of important things that would help me in the future. Last, my older sister, and my older brother, who is just a year ahead of me, are using the computer a lot typing paragraphs and things. If we didn't have one, we would be wasting a lot of paper, which would be wasting a lot of trees.
Next years 5th grade class will be thrilled to learn that they are using these neat, helpful laptops, just like we were. They are helpful when we are writing, reading, any subject. The eeePCs even got useful in music.

Lizzy, Mark Hopkins Elementary

By Lizzy on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

1.Having a laptop helps students write better by it correcting spelling and grammar errors. After all the workshops we have published writing and have just saved stories on our D drive without a sweat. Then we can take our D drive home and work on it. That is much easier than carrying a whole bundle of papers home. Projects are done on our computer as we just pop up documents and type away. We can have fun by responding to the questions on the blog. Our class now has a wiki and we can post our assignments and log our reading minutes on the wiki. With the laptops we can go to helpful websites like Writing Roadmap. It scores our writing and gives tips. That is why the laptops are great for class. Trust me life is a lot easier with these genius technology computers.
2.Some things that we can do in our classroom now with the EEE PCs that we could not have done before are we all can research topics on the internet and make presentations. The games are fun, also. (Why are they all about penguins?) We have gotten through work faster by just going on to our computers and typing narratives for writers workshop and writing essays. We get to find good information on the internet. This computer and the D drive helped me a whole lot with researching and organizing my science project. It was a whole lot easier.
3.I would feel a little disappointed if we didn't have the laptops next year. I'd be a mess and have a lot of papers and folders to organize. These laptops help me with research assignments and find a lot of sites for me. I get to post my opinions on blogs like I am doing right now and I have a lot of fun on this laptop.
4.Next year's 5th grade class has researching and typing to look forward to. Also, they can play educational games and interact on the wiki. The next year's 5th grade class has blogging to look forward to and making presentations and writing stories.

Sincerely,
Landon,
Hopkins Elementary

By Landon on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

#9 3-13-09

Dear Mr. Maas
1.Having laptops helps students write better because there hands don't get really
cramped and they don't have to keep stopping to rest there hands. We get to have more more vocabulary. I think it is better because we have a better way of using grammar and having these laptops helps the structure of our writing.
2.In our classroom now that we have the laptops we can research about reports on a commuter without having to go down to the library or using the teachers big computer, also we don't have to all be cramped around the same computer.
3.Now that we have laptops I would feel very sad if we didn't have laptops next year because I think that the laptops open a big world of opportunity for us as students.
4. I think that the next years 5th graders get to look forward to playing very fun learning games and getting to blog.

Brie,Hopkins

By Brie on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,
1.Laptops help students to write better by making us to think something, to make the word document back and fort to our hard drive, help us research on the internet.
2.What happen in my classroom that not happen before when now we have laptops is that we can type in here and we can go play a math games, science games, and everything.
3.What I feel if I didn’t have them next year is I would be sad.
4.Next year's 5th grade student came into my classroom have to look forward will be a good grade for them and to use laptops to make them smart.

By Jeff on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,

The laptops have helped us 5th graders at Hopkins by increasing our abilities to do lots of things we couldn't do before. Now that we have out laptops we are able to go on the internet, have power point presentations, and multiple things like that. We are able to do so many thing that we weren't able to do before. I like the fact that we can have the special features like the Mega Pixels cameras at the top of our screen. I can tell you how happy I am that you where kind enough to donate an electronic device like this.

How I think the laptops have helped our writing abilliteys is by helping us with all sorts of things. I think the number one thing that has helped us is letting us know when there's a word spelled wrong. I think part of having a good piece of writing is partially about having your spelling correct. And with us having the laptops we can have that source at our finger tips.

I think that next year since we are going to 6th grade I feel that we should have them. I feel that next year the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders should have the triple e laptops.

I think that next year 5th graders have a large experience of being able to use the wonderful technology we have today.

Sincerely,
Sierra, Hopkins

By Sierra on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having the laptops in our classroom really helps. I love how the the laptops allow us to get motivated in the classroom. They help us write better by not having to write on a piece of paper first. We save our first drafts on our thumbdrive and when we are done we can check over it and then make our final draft. It also helps us write better because we wouldn't have erase marks on our page. We also wouldn't have sloppy handwriting on our papers to where our teachers can't read it.
Now that we have laptops in our classroom we can have internet connection. That helps us because we can play math games that help us get the idea of what we are doing in class. We also get to go to places like your blog and have fun with games our teacher lets us play.
I bet if I didn't have laptops next year in 6th grade I would feel sad because I like to play with the laptops and I wouldn't be able to type on them anymore or get to save them to a thumbdrive and see memories when I get older.
The 5th graders coming to my classroom should look forward to having laptops in the classroom and having D-drives in their hands to take care of. They should also look forward to being able to have fun researching places and other stuff like that. They should look forward to having a great teacher that helps the with everything they need help with.
Sincerely,
Mitzi, Hopkins Elementary

By Mitzi on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass

Having a laptop computer helps students write better because they can express themselves better and correct their spelling errors which really helps.

What happens in my classroom that could never happen before we had laptops is, we can use spellcheck by ourselves and we can plan and check ourselves and we also can use our own internet on our laptops to make researching better.

Now that I have had laptops in my classroom, I would feel sad if I did not have them next year because I can express myself and use the internet to do my research at school and I can express myself better.

4. What fourth graders have to look forward to next year is these wonderful laptops and being able to look up stuff on the internet and for them to be able to check themselves with spellcheck and these laptops are awesome Sincerely,
Austun, Hopkins

By Austun on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
Laptops are useful because they extend the ways we are able to learn. We are able to go onto the internet to do research, and type documents without having to do it at home where some kids don't have access to a computer.
Writing with laptops helps us students improve our writing by letting us do drafts, then edit, then once we've got all mistakes out we can publish our writing onto our class wikispace. They help us so that we can make our writing superb.
What happens in our classroom now that couldn't happen if we didn't have the laptops is publishing stories onto the wikisapce. Also, we would not be able to do research on the internet for projects. We can work individually on our own computer.
If I didn't have a laptop next year it would be a lot harder to get things done like essays and projects that we had to do research on the internet for. We wouldn't be able to just get a laptop to work on the project. We would have to find a computer to work on and then we might not be able to work on it because somebody's using it.
Next years 5th graders coming to our classroom should look forward to being able to publish writing pieces, getting to play games during parties, being able to do internet research, and not having to wait for a computer to be open.
Sincerely,
Kimi, Hopkins

By kimi on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

My grandson was asking me to answer some question for you. First of all how does having a laptop computer help my child write better I would say he has better internet access and better access to information.Another question that you had was what happens in your classroom now that you have laptops that could not happen before is now students get to work alone and they could work at their own paste.Next thing I would have to say about if the students didnt have the computers next year is the students would not have as much fun looking up info that they need for projects.Lastly,What do next years 5th graders need to look forward to is more fun on the laptops.


Sincearly,
Connie

By Connie(east parent) on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

To me the laptops help the classroom because one day my son Richard was home when i got home with my laptop that I use to see graphs of corn.Then one time I came home and turned on my laptop and Richard said "I have a laptop at school".Then he started saying that he uses the laptop for writing then I said back do they help you in writing and he said "Yes".

By (Parent of East student) on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
I think that the new computers help Angelica .C type faster and it also helps her how to do different stuff on them. I think that it helps the students to do their work faster.If the students didn't have the computers next year I would feel sad, because they wouldn't do their homework faster. The fourth graders might have a new experience with the computers, and how to do different stuff. I feel really happy about the computers, and that the fourth graders have the same experience with the computers. I feel happy about the computers, because it helps Angelica.c do her homework faster, and I hope that the fourth graders have the same experience.

(East parent of Angelica.c)

By Angelic.c on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas,
My daughter feels very lucky to have use of the laptop at school. To her, it is more fun to type than write. She loves being able access the internet and Fact Monster! She comes home with fun and interesting facts all the time. She likes the fact that she can learn at her own pace, and would be sad if she couldn't have use of the laptop anymore. Incoming 5th graders would love to have the same exciting opportunity that the students have had tis year. My child has greatly enjoyed it and I feel it has made them more aware of writing with more descriptive and interesting stories! If it is fun to learn students are more interesting and willing to learn!

East parent of Kaylee

By East Parent on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Maas,
The laptops help the students write better by because their writing is neater,it mod ovates the children more, and it make them feel important at their young age.
Before the children had the laptops they wouldn't have gotten to do a spelling test online,or even have a blog full of interesting posts,another thing is their wiki saw that the other day and it was amazing. One more thing was a website called DE Science where they can see many things about science and learn new words that they didn't even know about. Next year if they didn't have the laptops the students wouldn't be that much motivated and excited as they were in 5th grade.
I think the next 5th graders will be so excited to do new activities they didn't get to do in 4th grade. Honestly I think these triple E's are a helpful thing to all children.
Sincerely,
East Parent

By (East Parent of Isabel) on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Mass,

I think that having a laptop computer helps students write better because the students can cheak their spelling and learn by doing it. Something that I could do with a laptop is , I can use my laptop by cheaking how to make recipies. I will feel sad and bord if I didn't have a laptop because I hae a fun time on them. Next year 5th graders will be happy and lucky to have a laptop because can help them with homework.

From,
Parent of east student - BEN

By parent of east student-Ben on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear,Mr.Mass
My daughter and all the other students are very lucky to have this eee's to use in class beause I think that this laptops help the kids by using them on there writing because when ever my daughte is typing a patch she just can't go off the computer.Also this computers help students on there writing by keeping them organize and putting them on folders.Another good reason this computers help students in there writing is that whenever they are writing in there journals they are not organize because once when she couldn't go to the computers she did her patch not organize and you couldn't even read it.On the other hand this computers help them in class a lot because when my daughter comes from the bus to the house she runs to me and tells me what they are doing in there classroom like going to the blog to go to spellincity,fact monster,commenting on the blog,going to there wiki,andmuch more beause when ever I go and see my daughter she is either in her wiki finishing work from school or either just exploring their blog,they can also go to De Science to fing there word from the dictionary that they do in school.When they go to De Science to find there word she tells me that the word givesthem there little video even.Another good reason this computers help the children are by having this computers in there classroom because if they didn't have them they would have to go down to the computer lab but they don't have to go anymore because of this computers.WOW!!I think that next year fifth grade is going to expet going to the same site because my daughter told my that if they don't they can lose the computer a week.Another thing that next year fifth grade is going to expect is that they have to follow the teacher directions.On the other hand is that they have to respect them because if they do something to this computers they are the one that is going to pay for it

Parent of a student in fifth grade

By (Parent of fifth grade student Evelin) on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mason,

The laptops are good but i it's used in a right way and not al he time. If we used for information and search,nd not all the time for games or something bad.

Mother of East student hamadi

By Parent of east student on   3/16/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

In the course of my ninth grade year, we have used laptops in our Honors English classroom. Having the laptops has helped me write better pieces of writing because I have access to the world. Using laptops and using the internet daily in the classroom has helped me to practice my writing each day. The pressure of knowing that the whole world is going to see everything that I write and post online, makes me want to do my absolute best. The world is watching and I know that I only want my best work to be online. The laptops have helped me write like I never have before. In my class we each created a wiki online. This paper was not like the other papers I have ever written. My “Wikified Research Paper” was completely online and showed videos and images that could online be available online. With the laptops we were also able to peer edit. With peer editing we can get many inputs about our writing, not just from our teacher, but from our fellow students. With the help of multiple students, our writing has improved. As the school year comes to an end the thought of not having laptops everyday has struck me. I really cannot remember a regular English classroom. It’s weird to think about and it would be an upsetting situation. I have adapted to the laptops and I feel that my knowledge and learning next year would be limited if I did not have the opportunity to have laptops again.

By CarolynF on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I am not sure whether the laptop inproves my writing or not because I write on my laptop anyways. I think it allows us to have more accebible tools at any time we might need them and it definetly allows us to work in an environment where we can do anything to our writing we want through use of programs on the web. Something that hapens in our class now is that we are all connected and able to share things between classmates in a more efficient way that before. I think I could handle not having laptops because thats the way i have done it in all my other classes and the way I have learned to work instead if on a computer all class. If you are coming into honors English next year i guess you could expect to have some fun on these laptops but the can also be a sort of thing you just do not want to do right now. I also used to see a lot of kids playing games in the middle of class so laptops could also be hindering students because then they begin not listening and they just zone out.

By ConnorM on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I am a student in Ms. Smith's 9th grade English Honors class. Before I say how much laptops have helped me learn I want to say that right now, I am sitting in Ms. Smith’s class with a laptop writing on this blog. If we didn’t have laptops in this class, I couldn’t be doing this. Laptops are useful in several ways. The first way is that various internet programs such as Wordle and Voicethread can be utilized in class. This is extremely helpful because a student can use these programs under the guide of their teacher to use them in the best way possible. Additionally, with laptops, students can send home unfinished work via email or with a flash drive. This is useful because a student isn’t forced to work on a project only in class. Another great use for laptops is to bring people from outside the classroom in with programs such as Skype. For example, a teacher could have an author of a book that the class is reading talk to the class with Skype. This makes it much easier for the author because they won’t have to fly halfway across the country to talk to the class; they will just have to walk over to their computer. Ms. Smith’s class had an author come in. The author was Daniel Pink who wrote the book A Whole New Mind. Mr. Pink talked to not only Ms. Smith’s class but several other classes as well. Mr. Pink was projected onto an electronic projector screen. Students could talk to him directly or talk on a blog set up with a program called CoverItLive. The blog was designed to talk about what Mr. Pink was saying but this way, more opinions could be expressed in a smaller amount of time. In addition to the blog and Mr. Pink on the projector, there was another site set up for people all over the world to join in the conversation. They could see Mr. Pink and express their own views on the subject. Over the course of the book, several other people wrote on the various CoverItLive sessions that the class held. The laptops made this all possible. Laptops let students see firsthand what the rest of the world thinks. Also, laptops make work a lot easier and more organized. For additional information on why laptops are good in class, I wrote an essay about classroom design. The technology portion is right before the conclusion so if you want more info, go to maxe2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/. Schools need more technology and bringing computers into classrooms will help students learn more and improve the world.

By MaxE (AHS) on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dan Maas,
Laptops have improved my learning greatly. We are able to use websites like www.wikispaces.com and www.wordle.net to improve our projects and put our writing into more technological form. There are also websites that can help us when it comes to citing work or how to write a persuasive essay. It is also easy when it comes to homework. We don’t have to carry any books around to class and all the homework is accessible online. In my last year’s English class, we had multiple books. We had one for grammar, one for writing, and then the multiple books that we read throughout the year. With a laptop, we have used everything on the internet making it easier for me and the rest of the students and for my teacher Ms. Smith to grade and receive papers. Next year if I didn’t have a laptop, I don’t think I would be able to learn to the fullest. It would be going back to the past ways that school has been taught. In our classroom, our motto is to change the world. One way we can change the world is having laptops in every classroom. There are endless possibilities with laptops. We have done fishbowls where we have blogging in an outer circle and then we have people discussing in the inner circle. It is a great way of learning and I don’t think I could ever go back to a non-laptop English class.

By JayS on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
I am a student in a technology based English class at Arapahoe High School. I support the addition of laptops and other technology to the classroom because I feel that this addition has drastically bettered my learning experience. In this class, projects, assignments, papers and so much more have been expanded and taken to new heights. For example, our class had to write a Wikified Research Paper, which is an electronic paper written entirely on Wikispaces with additional videos, websites and sources used for evidence for the argument. The access to the internet allowed us to take our papers so much further than just ink on paper. We also have access to programs like Lexipedia at our fingertips, which allow us to make our writing even better. Not only do we post our own work on the internet, but we have access to our classmates work and ideas as well. We post on a class blog fairly regularly and participate in interactive, electronic group projects often. One such group project was a poetry explication, in which my group created a Google site to present our information. I feel as though I might be a little lost without a laptop in class next year, almost like I’m reverting to prior times. I underwent a transition to laptops this year, and I may have to undergo a different transition (back to pen and paper) next year. I will be able to handle this, and next year’s freshman might have to do the same. However, the students shouldn’t shy away from taking technology based classes because these courses will open their eyes to how much more they are truly capable of doing.
Sincerely,
Katie H

By Katie H on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,

Technology in a classroom on a daily basis is something I am experiencing for the first time this year. I strongly support the use of computers and technology because of their many benefits to writing. With a computer, a whole new medium is added to writing, the use of outside sources. Specific examples such as direct quotes, videos, images, and sounds are constantly at the student’s fingertips. These examples add a new dimension to writing that gets the reader involved, making them an active reader. It also opens up the use of class presentations without a bland poster. Web sites can be made about a poem or a book that allow each student to follow along on their own computer, even if they aren’t in the class. Thinking about the possibility of not having laptops next year, I am starting to wonder how I will be able to incorporate some of these same elements into my writing. I am struggling to think of how this could be done, and I know that the learning would not be as in-depth as it is this year. Incoming freshmen can look forward to learning in a way I’m sure that they have never learned before, and that will cause them to be ahead of the game for their entire High School career.
sites.google.com/site/rkiplingif/ This was a poetry explication me and my group did on google sites.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-363A2Q This was the first video we ever watched this year in english. This gave us all an idea of how we would be learning, and it set the bar high, but reachable.

By Peter on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a laptop helps me write better in many ways. For one, on paper I have terrible handwriting. I used to lose a lot of points because the teacher couldn’t read what I was trying to say. Luckily, I am a fairly good typist and am constantly improving. I don’t have any more problems with that because I don’t need to write down anything. A lot of my teachers prefer to have their assignments typed up. Also, it helps immensely in research. If I need to know anything, I can just pull up the internet and everything I could ever need to know is right there. Research is infinitely simpler.

What happens in my class now that never happened before I had a laptop is the way we not only learn but how we present our learning. Just in this week, I have used online tools like Voice Thread, Wikispaces, and right now Blogger to show what I know and convey it in an interesting and meaningful way. I think that these tools (and all sorts of others we have used throughout the year) not only are interesting and fun to use, but provide another modem through which we can make connections and grow in our learning.

If I don’t (and I probably won’t) have a laptop next year, It will be for one less interesting. I think that the point of having all these tools is not only to expand how we think but then also to keep us focused and wondering what is coming next. Every day we could use a new tool; if this happened we wouldn’t get bored. I would feel a lot less engaged and not as interested as I am currently.

Next year’s freshman (I am not in fifth grade anymore) coming to this class will be able to look forward not only to having computers but using a multitude of activities and tools to expand their thinking. They can look forward to not being bored and being engaged in what they are doing; I highly doubt that this is occurring wherever they are currently in school.

If you are interested, here is a link to an example of what I have done this year with a computer:
johnc2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/

By JohnC on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dan Mass,
Having laptop computers has greatly aided my learning. I now feel that what I am writing is much more relevant. This semester our class wrote a paper but instead of writing a black and white paper, we made a website and added links, pictures, and videos. Writing that paper, or website for a lack of a better term, made me feel empowered because I felt that what I was doing mattered and related to the world around me. The prompt was also not just about a worthless topic. We got to choose what we wanted our paper to be about in relation to Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. My class got to write essays about real world events that are occurring today. By use of the laptops we learned even further and deeper about topics that interested us. Using laptops allows information to be obtained faster and in a larger quantity. . This assignment seemed much more relevant than others that I have done in the past. What we were writing mattered because each of us collaborated with some of the greatest minds of our time and build off our own views.
Since the real reason for schooling is to prepare students for the future, students should be supplied with laptops. An increasing amount of occupations use computers, so schools should succeed in their task of preparation by teaching and training students in the medium that they are most likely going to be using.
If I did not have laptops next year I would feel that my learning would suffer. Also, that I would be using my time insufficiently and become unprepared for my future.

By AllisonM on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Writing with a laptop helps students write better because it goes beyond a piece of paper. If I don't understand something I can easily google definitions of words or find resources to support my points. I tried writing essays with no laptop and it is becoming more and more difficult the more I use one. One thing that makes this class unique is we can post our work online because of the laptops. We have had hits from all over the world and it gives us opportunities to communicate with others more easily. For example, my class got to have conversations with Daniel Pink, a famous author via our laptops and a webcam. This was an amazing opportunity and it was only possible because of the technology we have. Also, when someone is at home sick they can use the internet and these laptops to watch and listen to class. Becuase of the microphones these computers have and our webcam it's just like being in class when we can't be. I think next year it will be difficult to get used to not writing on a laptop. It limits the abilities of what students can do if you do not give them the opportunity to give it everything they've got. I do like the Asus eepc's because they are also more reliable than some of the Dell's that this school has. The eepc is small, lightweight and very functional. I personally do not know what the 5th graders have to look forward to because I am a 9th grader but I do know that if we are considering eepc's then they are very lucky and it will be a great learning experience for them. In the growing world of technology everyone soon will need to know how to use laptops and other technological tools so by introducing them in elementary schools it gives students a head start. I remember when I was in first grade my school still had the really old apple computers that were amout the size of a Filing cabinet drawer with basic programs and how they were really neat. Now we have eepc's with so many different programs and such a small size allowing infinite possibilities. It is extremely likely that these 5th graders have used computers before or will soon after this so if we can introduce them as tools and show all of their functions while they are still exploring computers it will greatly increase what they will be able to do with them in the future. Who knows, if they have eepc's now then by the time I graduate I could have 8th graders who know more about learning through computers than I do. Rather than hold back on technology because of price or fear we need to get as much as we can because technology will always advance and so the more we can prepare students for what the future will hold the better off they will be and isn't that your goal in education? By providing them with the best tools you can they will show all their potential and become the best they can be.

By AustinW2012 on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,

Laptops have helped me in so many ways this year. I am a freshman at Arapahoe High School and coming into class on the first day, I had no expectations of my English class. All of a sudden we are being assigned laptops to use every day in this class, which is such an amazing idea. With our laptops, we are allowed class time to work on projects that have been assigned to us for the class. This is the 21st century, and yet so much of what is being taught is still in the 20th century. If you look around a typical classroom, there are still chalkboards and the same kind of learning and teaching as 15 years ago. Laptops are helping to bridge that gap that has been created. In my classroom, we are learning about new things to make our work unique, we don’t turn in papers like a regular class, instead, we post them onto a wiki-space to let everyone see our work. We connect our ideas and the topics being studied to YouTube videos and songs that are found on the Internet. Laptops are an infinite resource to help the learning process. Not having laptops next year is a possibility for me, if I didn’t have laptops next year I don’t think that my full learning potential could be used in the classroom because laptops have taught so many different aspects of learning, I have learned responsibility and I have also learned that thinking outside the box isn’t just going farther than the question asked, its finding things out for yourself and challenging the system that is given to us. To next year’s freshman that are coming into this class, they have to look forward to the new information that is going to be given to them, because with laptops and learning, the possibilities are endless. If you would like, here are the links to some of my work this year with laptops. laurao2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/ , voicethread.com/share/384189/

Thank you,
LauraO

By LauraO on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,

Learning with laptops is the best experience I have ever had. I am a better student and writer because of laptops. I am a lot more willing to take notes when I have a laptop. I can type way faster than I can write. Laptops also save thousands of files in one place. Having all my work in one place helps me stay organized instead of having random papers flying around in my binder. There also feels like there is a lot less pressure when typing on a laptop as when I am writing by hand. This is because because I can delete, copy, paste, spell check and insert paragraphs or sentences by using a computer that could never be done if it was hand written.

The possibilities are endless now that laptops are in the classroom. Wikispaces, Word, Powerpoint, Voicethread, Wordle, and many other features and programs open the doors for creativity. I have ironically learned a great amount about technology in my English class by using laptops. English and technology…now that is 21st century learning!

I would be devastated if I was placed in a classroom without laptops next year. I would feel like I was missing out on great opportunities and I would feel as if my creativity was being restricted. Now that I have seen the possibilities that come with having laptops in a classroom, I could never go back to a “normal” class. Learning with laptops is the way of the future and I want to be involved in that great future.

The new students coming into my classroom at first are going to be overwhelmed for about the first week to two weeks. I will admit that I was at overwhelmed by all the choices of how to use this great resource at first as well. However, I now know that without this experience I would have never become the student I am today. Learning with laptops has transformed me from an average student to a 21st century, stellar learner!

Sincerely,
Ashley

Please check out my latest website at ashleys2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/.

By Ashley on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

This year, my education potential has changed levels dramatically. Not because of some strange science experiment, a spider bite or other incident, but because my education has been introduced to laptops and the tools they provide. Writing has become an interactive work through the use of laptops with tools such as Wikispaces and Voice thread. The usages of these programs are usable by all ages, and create a writing piece that isn’t just, “black and white.” The programs allow for one to progress in education past levels of our predecessors. For example, my wikispace goes above and beyond technologies of the past.( austind2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/Rough+Draft) The improvements are great and the possibilities endless.

By Austin D on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr Mass,
Writing and learning with laptops has been a very exciting expirience for me. Going from regular pencil to paper to a laptop is a giant leap, but a good one. Blogspot.com, and wikispaces.com are just two of the many websites we have looked at and used this semester. Just being able to spellcheck your work and make a powerpoint make writing so much funner then with a pencil and paper. We don't have to carry around heavy english books or books we are reading because we can find them online. Having laptops makes it so easy to convey ideas to whoever you want anywhere in the world. With the tecnology that we have today it's very easy to have a webcam conference with a famous author (which we did) or send some an email to a friend in Canada.

By BrianC on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Laptops have really changed my learning. When I walked into Smith’s class on the first day and heard that we got laptops. I was really excited. Having a laptop makes you excited about learning. You have instant access to nearly unlimited information. You have a dictionary, thesaurus, and spell check. All of this is in one place. It makes you more willing to write. You know that you can save all your changes and all that information is stored instantly on your USB. It is easy to get your sources and add them to your paper. You can add your work to a wikispace and access it at home with ease. We are able to learn in more ways with laptops. I remember once that our teacher once told us that we had fifteen minutes to find out all that we could on a subject. We could find out what we needed to know by ourselves. She was putting us in charge of our education. You can just do so much more with a laptop. Look up words you did not understand beforehand, watch a video on how to do something, even live blog with someone that is living across the country. In class we have turned in assignments online! My entire research paper was done on a wikispace. Not only is this convenient, it also saves trees.
Because you can do so much with a laptop I would feel at a disadvantage if I was not placed in a classroom with laptops next year. I would not have the ability to dive deeper instantly into the topic we were talking about in class. I would also be much less likely to take notes. Taking notes on a laptop is simple, easy. You can jot the notes down and save. There is no chance to lose the notes; they are always available for your use. In a few years I may remember taking notes on a subject in this class. All I will have to do is go into my student folder and open a saved document. I would just feel as if I had lost the ability have learning at my finger tips. There would be no creative assignments that I had created all online. Everything would be hard copy. There would be a serious loss to my learning.
To the incoming freshmen: You will learn to love your laptop. It is a place to access information. Take full advantage of it. Never be afraid to try new things or to go way out of the box. With the internet there are almost unlimited possibilities. You will be blown away by the things that you will do. There are things that you have never thought of that you will do. You will learn by watching a video on youtube. Your first test might be to write an essay. You will not believe it.

By BayleyK on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Before, I was given a laptop the beginning of freshman year, I was told that I was going to change the world. When I heard this, I thought “yeah right,” what could we do with the little power that we have that could possibly change the world. Sure enough we have changed the world, maybe not as much as Ghandi or Martin Luther King; however, we were given the chance to question one another’s thoughts and ideas to make those ideas stronger. We were given the opportunity to talk all at once in an orderly fashion- the Fishbowl. The laptops have helped me to learn new resources that otherwise I would never have thought of like Wordle or Blogger or Voice Thread; I’m not the most computer savvy person in the world and by having this class I have more tools to explain my thoughts and ideas.
In this class my possibilities are endless; I have a computer at the touch of my finger tips. If I have a question I can get the answer that otherwise might not have been answered. And I want other to get the same opportunity for others, maybe by telling my story I can help some little kid at another child in the LPS school district to accomplish their lifetime dream by getting this new knowledge that otherwise might not have been available to them.
Now after having this class I can’t imagine having a English class without these laptops that has changed my entire idea of how to teach a kid how to learn something new in a fun and modern new way.

Sincerely-
Alexandriab

By alexandriab on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
I think that having laptops or a EEE PC computer is great to helps students like us write better because I do not get tired of typing like I do when I write on notebook paper. When I edit the computer helps me edit by using grammar and spell check. I also get to copy and paste my words to another place. I get to do so many things with a computer that I can not do with paper (so these computers are cool to me.) Now that we have mini laptops in our classroom we have two of our own sites that we use almost everyday. At the beginning of the school year we had are own private wiki and always computer homework(I love computer homework so it works out for me) and we still do instead of last year or any year before.

I would feel disappointed next year because my computer at home is not as good as a EEE PC laptop. Next year I will have to do all of my computer homework on my home computer which is boring. My homeroom or any other classes of mine will not have our own website, I won't get to do a presentation or have my own thumb drive.
The future fifth-graders next year will have to look forward to these EEE PC laptops(I love these mini laptops.)There will be nothing better then using your own EEE PC laptop during school. I think a EEE PC laptop will make next year's fifth-grade students happy because they have there own mini laptop.
Warmly Katarina,a Hopkins student

By Kat on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Students having a laptop computer helps them write better by them not needing to read their sloppy, disorganized writing and need to find what they need with a lot of papers to dig through. You can save something without needing to grab papers. You can just save it to a chip, hard drive, or a other thing you can have when you need it. Also, having a laptop can help students write better by having something like the internet or resource and not needing to dig though papers trying to find the right resources.
Something that we can do that we could not do before is we can use the laptops for assignments and we can go on our wiki, our class blog, and educational games.
Something I like doing on the laptops is being able to use the Internet and be able to stay organized, also, to be able to not loss things. I can use the Internet to help me with assignments and research. I can also stay organized and not lose my work.
Next year I would be very disappointed that I did not have a laptop because they are so much easier than having to take home a lot of papers and you can just save it on a hard drive and you can keep things organized. Also I would be very disappointed if we did not have the laptops next year because we could use them a lot better than this year because we would know what they are like and how to use them.
I think next years students will come in to our classroom looking forward to seeing what eeePC's (laptops) are used for because they have heard how cool they are when we go to recess. They over hear what we have to say about the laptops.
Katie, Hopkins student

By katie on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I enjoy the EeePCs, but the keyboard is a little small and it doesn't print all time. I type more now because we have them. The EeePC helps me
create writing in a more organized way. I write mostly everything on the computers at my house I almost never typed. I think the 4th grades have a lot to look forward to. My class loves the awesome computers . They make everything easier. Next year will be kind of harsh without them.

Abby

By Abby on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
There have been so many changes at Whitman for 5th graders this year. One being that there won't be a Whitman next year, and two, the EeePC. Without the EeePC my year would have been very boring. Even though there was the incident where they wouldn't print, the enjoyment of having the EeePCs was very cool. Whitman had a little help from Mr. Porter, by the way he wants a huge chocolate bar. Like I said Whitman had a lot of changes this year, but the EeePc's made it a lot easier to lose our school.

Sincerely,
Taylor from Whitman

By Taylor on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a laptop computer can help students write better because some kids can save their work onto their thumbdrive and take it home to work too so all their work isn't only at school. Another reason is that there are a ton of fun educational games to play and so many choices.
My whole class probably LOVES these laptops for writing,blogging,playing games, and much more. When I write on paper for a long time my hand starts to hurt, but now that we have laptops my hands never hurt.

What happens in my classroom that could never happen before is my whole class can log onto the internet all at once without leaving our chairs.

I would feel sad if we didn't have laptops because I was just getting use to them and I would probably have to live the rest of my life without them. I would beg my parents to buy me a mini laptop like the EeePC so I can remember how it felt back in 5th grade, and enjoy every moment of it.

Next years fifth graders are going to look forward to having internet access and blogging and typing, games, they can also do research on any project they have to do in class. All the soon to be fifth graders are going to have a blast with their new laptops in fifth grade.

Rebecca, Hopkins Elementary

By Rebecca on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,



I think having a laptop to write is kinda helpful. I really don't think it makes you a better writer. I think it makes it easier. You know with spell check and all. You can be an awesome writer without a computer. Having the laptops in the classroom can get a little crazy sometimes. Everybody is rushing to get their computer all at once. I enjoy writing with the laptops but I like writing with a pencil too. I like having the the laptops during writing. Yes I could live without them. Then my computer started to FREAK!!!! It wouldn't let me get my documents. So yeah.

Yep,
Carly

By Carly on   3/17/2009

Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
If I didn't have the EeePc next year, I wouldn't be as motivated to write anything. One reason is because the EeePc's seem exciting because of their size. Another reason why the EeePc's keep me motivated to write is because I can write much faster with them. I think that if I didn't have the tiny EeePc next year, it would definitely be different.

By:Mallory

By Mallory on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

In my classroom we can do a lot of different things with the computers that we couldn't do before. For example, if our teacher says that we have enough time to free-write, we can just pull out our computers and start writing. Plus, since we are typing more, we are learning how to type a lot faster. These computers have even improved my computer skills. Now, I know how to use thumb-drives, how to use a blog and a bunch of other things.

Thanks for the computers,
Joanna

By Joanna on   3/17/2009
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Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
The EEEPCs have taken up an enormous part of my writing experiences. Over the past two to three years, the Dell computers had guided me through spelling, punctuation, or any errors, to specify that my the grammar in my writing piece would be correct, especially if I try to enter it in a writing competition. It was true I loved those computers in the past, but not until the EEEs interfered my writing vocation. I found out that the light-weight, mini computers hardly even show those annoying pop-ups that pop up every once in a while, but most importantly, the EEEPC is the solution of all the problems you encounter, and takes you directly to a writing or editing tool you need, and a computer, whether young or old, that everyone should work with forever.

Danny

By Danny on   3/17/2009

Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
If I didn't have the EeePc next year, I wouldn't be as motivated to write anything. One reason is because the EeePc's seem exciting because of their size. Another reason why the EeePc's keep me motivated to write is because I can write much faster with them. I think that if I didn't have the tiny EeePc next year, it would definitely be different.

By:Mallory

By Mallory on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

In my classroom we can do a lot of different things with the computers that we couldn't do before. For example, if our teacher says that we have enough time to free-write, we can just pull out our computers and start writing. Plus, since we are typing more, we are learning how to type a lot faster. These computers have even improved my computer skills. Now, I know how to use thumb-drives, how to use a blog and a bunch of other things.

Thanks for the computers,
Joanna

By Joanna on   3/17/2009
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Dear Mr. Maas,
The thing I saw inside of these computers were tech, no scratch that, hi-tech , no scratch that too, small hi- tech. I have improved by letting me explore possibilities with writing and many tools. It lets me learn words by spell check and other things. Nothing really happens in our classes though, just regular stuff going on. If I lost the laptops for next year I shouldn't be sad. I don't think there are all that cool to me. They're only computers. That's not for me judge to them to see what tech they like but in all they can think good of them.
sincerly,
lynden

By lynden on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

I do think typing on a laptop is better than a regular paper and pencil for these reasons.

1. your hand doesn't start hurting
2. I love technology
3. the small keypad is better

The computers are also life savers, they save your hand for CSAP and other tests ( I like maps testing the best because its on the computer). They also make fifth grade more exciting because you get to play games on them instead of getting out a board game and playing it all the time. Thank you for buying the computers for us they really make life easier.

Sincerely,
Evan

By Evan on   3/17/2009
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1.Having the laptop computers help students write better because you can save your work on the D-drive and only have to take that home instead of carrying around papers that can get lost or riped.
2.A thing that happens in our classroom now that we have the laptops is we can do research on the internet instead of in books. We can also find educational games that could help us in math, reading, or writing.
3.If I couldn't use the laptops next year I would be unhappy. They really can be quite useful in writing, research, and reading . They help in reading because you can look up your book level also, they help in research because you can find things on the internet,and help in writing because well just look at answer one for the answer.
4.Next years 5th grade should be looking forward to getting to learn in a new fun way. They'll be able to improve writing and learn easier.

By Allan on   3/17/2009
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Throughout my 9th grade year in my English honors class, we have been exposed to using laptops every day in class. Laptops are a brilliant addition to the learning experience because of the information available at the fingertips. In a traditional classroom, students only have the ability to use pen and paper, and limited to the knowledge that the teacher possesses, or possibly the information of a movie or video. All other technological devices such as cell phones, iPods, and by all means computers, are prohibited. This way of teaching has proved fairly effective for years, but with the technology where it is now, it is literally stripping students of furthering their knowledge. Computers and the internet have provided the world with more knowledge than comprehendible. The internet has created the biggest library in the history of the world that is easily accessible and enjoyable to everyone. The introduction of laptops into the classroom is not only a better way of learning; it is a better way of living “the green way”. Students need to take notes in school in order to be successful. Instead of using the paper, a laptop creates digital text with digital paper that never runs out. It helps our world cut the amount of paper used every day. Finally, laptops teach kids responsibility, possibly without them knowing it. When greater freedoms are given to kids, they respond with taking greater responsibility with the new-found freedoms they have received. At my school, we have an open campus and a variable schedule, meaning not all kids are in a classroom during all hours. Our principal believes in this system because it provides us with freedom, hand in hand with responsibility. So where is this going? Well, the internet, although spilling with knowledge, also contains websites with gaming and inappropriate material. Although this may be a drawback, there is a method of dealing with this issue. My school has blocked websites such as YouTube and others with edgy content. The great compromise is that the abundance of knowledge can be obtainable in the classroom without worrying about what websites kids are on when no one is looking, hence teaching them responsibility. Laptops in the classroom are a wonderful addition to the learning experience and the idea should not be taken lightly.

I have had the great pleasure to have this experience in my school every day in the classroom, and I greatly support the idea. I am a freshman in high school, and starting it was not easy. But the first class that I became comfortable in the most quickly was my English class. My teacher’s teaching system was different than any I had ever been exposed to. Our first assignment was a group project where the sky was the limit. Where was the rubric, the guidelines, the boundaries that I was accustomed to in middle school? I had never experienced this much freedom in an assignment before. Throughout in the year, we have been taught how to use various computer programs that would have been inconceivable to me 6 months before. Laptops posses so many different ways to learn or get a point across so assignments don’t even feel like work anymore. It makes learning easier and turns work to play. Also, we have been able to communicate with people across the globe using the internet. Between 11th graders in the Middle East, to 2nd graders in Utah, we have combined our resources to help the others learn and hear what we have to say. If it wasn’t for the internet, everyone who has read this testimony might not have been able to read it. Heck, I might not have been able to write it! In the end, the laptop creates a learning community that can gain knowledge faster, communicate easier, and work harder. Sounds worth it to me!

By Marie P on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I personally do not really like the laptops. As far as practicality I use it much more for checking my grades or doing other things during class. It becomes a bit of a distraction. I have become used to having the laptops, but they are not preferable in my mind. I am old fasioned and prefer pen to paper. The only real benifit I have noticed and truly enjoy is the fact that I can type up my papers right here in class. I dont have to write it down and then go transcribe it to my computer at home. It saves time and I like that. If i were to not have laptops in my classroom next year I would probably just simply adapt back to pen and paper, just as I adapted to a laptop. I Think that the students who will be inhabbiting this class next year will enjoy the time that having a laptop saves for other things.

By Kelseyc on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a laptop computer allows students to write a million times better. Students are able to branch out to new levels with different types of writing and have so much more information available. With a laptop, any writing has the entire internet available to open new information for research and support than ever before. Students can look up any question they may have at any time. They are also able to extend the types of papers they write. Rather than simply writing an essay on a piece of notebook paper, programs like PowerPoint or a wiki are open for use so that new formats of writing are available. With laptops in the classroom, we can do assignments like having online texts of a play, looking up poetry interpretations to help with our own understanding, or use a wiki or blog to collaborate with our piers and help edit. We have written an entire paper on a wiki full of links and videos and images that enhanced the quality of our argument so much more than a hand written paper ever could. We were also able to post questions on our class blog while we worked to get help from both our teacher and our piers. We are also able to connect with new people all over the world and learn so much from them. We did a project this year where we collaborated on papers we wrote with kids across the world in Quatar. I was able to talk with kids I would otherwise have never met and they taught me so much about their lives and culture. Without the computers, we would have simply written the paper and been done. I dread possibly not having laptops next year. The biggest reason being that I am a slow writer and I have bad handwriting. However, when I am typing my writing is fast and accurate so I can get so much more done in a shorter amount of time. It is also significantly easier to make corrections to papers and not have to re-type them at home. I will also miss the different things we do like talking to kids across the world. I do not want to go back to the way my English class used to be where we simply wrote papers by hand and then turned them in without any new or creative extensions on the project. Next year’s students with laptops have so much to be excited for. They will get to work fast by typing. They will also have so much available to them like the endless information on the internet or the multitudes of different computer programs to make writing more exciting. Class is more interesting every day with the endless supplies of exciting things to do with the computers and English. It is a great learning experience.

By bridgetl on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Hello, Mr. Maas,
I am currently a ninth grader at Arapahoe High School. I think that I am learning much more than I was before, for example, I now have instant access to the Internet, and that helps out a ton when I am researching a topic. If next year I can't use a laptop, I would be a little sad, but I would be able to manage. I lasted the eight past years without a laptop, and I think that they went fine. I guess that next year's eighth graders should know to pay attention to the teacher when the teacher is explaining how to use a new application for a project. That happened to me once, and I ended having to look up how to use it on the laptop, which is another use for them.

By JordanG on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Mr. Maas-
Having a laptop helps a TON when it comes to writing because we can look up online what words rhyme, synonyms, what words mean, etc that you cant do while writing with a pen and a piece of paper. It just gives you a lot of insight into things you might never have thought of before. Also, if you are writing a persuasive paper, you can look up evidence and see what other people think to help them write their own papers. In our classrooms, now that we have computers, we can have real personal learning time. When youre just reading a book, everyone is reading the same book, doing the same thing just on their own. With the option of laptops, we can learn different things on the same topic. Some of us may like using powerpoint, some may like using word. We really have unlimited options about what to do our work on in this class. Also, when taking notes, we can type the notes, and for those of us who can type fast, it goes WAY faster than writing it by hand. If we didnt have laptops next year, it would be weird at first to have to work without them, go back to traditional learning, but I am a pretty traditional learner, so it wouldnt be too hard for me. It would just take some time to get used to. Next years freshman have a ton of interesting things to look forward to. They get to learn tons of new things to do on the computer, ways to present your work other than the normal, boring powerpoint. Also, they get to look forward to a much freer classroom setting. After a while, we got to pick our own seats, and we often have time to just work without having to listen to hour after hour of lecture. Smith doesnt set limits for us beyond the normal ones, so if we dont love the format of the project were doing, we can change it and do it our own way. Using laptops has been a completely new and different experience that has changed my way of looking at things and the way I learn forever.




By Kaelib on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a laptop in school completely revolutionized the way I write; it is incredibly easy to find sources online for writing, not to mention the spell check saved my life! When I wrote my wikified paper I used so many sources from the internet that my works cited page was a nightmare. In class I am able to do research with the click of a button, there are so many doorways to information that you can back up almost any argument you are making. If I don’t have laptops next year I suppose that I will have a hard time adjusting, and I will have to work a little on my spelling. Overall I do not really think that it will be too hard without the use of this technology, especially since I am glad to have had the chance for a year. The students next year can look forward to a very hard year ahead, despite the challenges they may face it is definitely worth it. Always try your best and know that the challenges are only as big as you make them.

By Kristen M on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
My name is Megg, and I am a current ninth grader in Colorado. Having laptops in my english class has helped my writing enormously. First, I think that good writing takes enthusiasm. Having the laptops in class increases my enthusiasm to actually come to class, and participate in online discussions. I look forward to having my laptop everyday, and that makes me enthusiastic before I even step in the door, and that positively affects my writing syle and pieces. I also think it is just easier to get my thoughts out while typing rather than writing. It is so exciting to have laptops, and I feel bad for all of the english classes that do not have laptops because they really complete our english class. In ordinary classes, just to spread information, you would have to run around gathering e-mails, phone numbers, etc.. Whereas when you are in a classroom with laptops, there are endless possabilities as to how you can spread information. Wiki's and blogs are our main ways of communication.
It is going to be a very rough start, not having laptops. It is such a routine to come in and get my laptop and open it and log in, it will be hard to break that habit.
Laptops have definetely benefited my personal learning expierience, thanks for asking :)
Sincerely,
Megg

By Megg on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Mr. Maas,
I am a 9th grader at Arapahoe and I can say from experience that a computer allows access to many helpful resources while writing. Laptops present us with the internet, abundant in sites that aid in the writing process and development of ideas. Spell check, contrary to popular belief, has actually helped me become a better speller because if I can visualize the correct way to spell the word, I am more likely to remember how to spell it. I truly believe laptops are a medium to the rest of the world and without them, we are confined to the classroom. If laptops were taken away from me next year, I would honestly be devastated.

By LeahF on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
Laptops are great little tools in the classroom, and greatly help with writing. Not only are they useful for little things like spelling and grammar checks, or quickly looking up a word, but they are also helpful when you need to look at information and check your work. Typing is the new writing, and this makes life much easier. Projects look nicer and cleaner, and most kids my age can easily type much faster than they can write. Before laptops, paper flooded the rooms and caused problems, now it feels like we can actually move around without getting a paper cut! Also, writing was a hastle and dread, but now it's always exciting to open a new Word document and start writing. Once these laptops are gone... I don't know how i would ever want to write again, pencil and paper feel absolete almost. For next years 9th graders, look forward for a new experience that will instantly catch your attention and hold it for the entire year.

By nickm on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I'm a ninth grader at AHS in Mrs. Smith's English class.

I believe that having a laptop helps students write significantly better. Laptops help students give examples easier by providing links and widgets/emedments. Laptops also give students the luxury of not writing, which is a huge plus, because, your arms don't get tired, the writing is clean and neat, and the overall presentation of the paper is much better.

Now that I have laptops in my classes i have learned of hundreds of new technological programs, such as, wordle, wikispaces, googledocks, blogger, etc. The laptops also allow the possibility of deeper class disscussions, like fishbowls, in which some students blog while others blog and speak.

If I didn't have laptops next year I would not be completley devastated because I never had a problem with the normal English class. I do, however, think that laptops are a great gateway to future education and college. They also have introduced me to things that I had never known of. These tools are big helps in projects and essays so that I can be accessible to all my work at all times, plus, I cannot loose it.

I think 8th grade students can look forward to having a great technological experience that will help their progression as English students, as well as an introduction to higher levels of education. They can also look forward to meeting alot of new, exciting, and famous people. These expreiences will certainly be remembered by all of them.

Good luck.

By Ben S on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Hi, Mr. Maas.

I am a 9th grader at Arapahoe High School.

Students with laptops tend to write at a superior level, compared to students without laptops because they can complete their work at a faster level. Typing is always fast than writing by hand. Also, the grammar and spelling of laptop equipped students is improved because of programs like Spell Check.

We use online texts, wiki's, videos, and online dictionary's, to enhance our learning.

I would be extremely disappointed if I was not in a laptop equipped class next year. This is because I would miss out on many learning resources, and the responsibility of choosing what I do with my laptop.

Incoming 8th graders should look forward to receiving their own laptop, having more responsibility and being in charge of their own learning.

By ZivenC on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

When students are able to use laptops in their classes they are introduced to a whole new world of writing. There is no longer a need to struggle with illegible handwriting and the students are liberated from hand cramps and other trying aspects of writing by hand. It also, helps with spelling and grammar because it checks it for you and, with the newer versions of word it has an application that checks your word usage. Using laptops grants students the access to an enormous variety of resources enabling them to learn a greater amount than they would learn when just using books and worksheets. My 9th grade English class uses our computers almost everyday. We do entire projects completely on the computer, for instance, we read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, and wrote a full essay, over a period of weeks all electronically, ending the project by putting it on a wikispace that we each created. samis2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/ this is mine. If the laptops were to be taken out of our classrooms I would be very saddened because I would feel cut off from the world and from resources that enhance my learning. The incoming freshman here at Arapahoe High School, have a great amount of fun to look forward to. Including fun projects, and being able to learn the way that they learn best, and to have less parameters when it comes to completing the projects. They are in for a real treat.

By Sami S on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Hi Mr. Maas,

I am a freshman student at Arapahoe High School.

Having a laptop has majorly influenced my writing. It makes all of the resources of writing a good paper readily available for your use. Also, typing is so much easier than writing. Your hand won't get tired from typing.

Things in my laptop class are so much different than my regular class. We view videos and activities on the laptops pretty much every day rather than having a teacher lecture about the subject.

If I didn't have the laptops next year, I really do not know what I will do. Laptops are just so much more fun rather than listening to a teacher all day. It will just be so much different and less exciting.

The incoming freshmen should look forward to this laptop class environment. It’s a whole lot better than a regular class. You will find yourself waking up every day and saying to yourself," Can't wait to go to class."

Sincerely, Jonathan P

By jonathan p on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I am a 9th grader at AHS. We use laptops in my English class every day. Personally, I feel that having a laptop helps me to write better. It has so many tools that enable me to improve my writing, such as a thesaurus, a dictionary, and even a bibliography/citation application. While this all can be done with the conventional pen and paper, these features ease and accelerate the writing process, making it possible to have more time to think about and improve the writing. We also are able to edit papers more easily by switching around flash drives. Before we had laptops we could have never had the experience of trading “This I believe” papers with students in Qatar, been able to take notes electronically, make “Wikified Research Papers”-Papers on a wikispace that have videos, pictures, and other electronic things embedded in them-, or had your entire English year available in the click of button. While the transition from having laptops to not having laptops will be a hard one, it will be an accomplishable one. I still enjoy just the writing aspect of the class, not just the laptops. It certainly will not be as easy or as fast, maybe even the quality won’t be as great, but who doesn’t love hand cramps? Next year the incoming ninth-graders can look forward to having the whole world at their finger-tips through some of the best methods of writing, exploring, and learning, a laptop.
Caroline

By Caroline B. on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having laptops in the classroom allows for writing to improve because it is a lot easier to spell check your work and edit the paper since the comments and edits are neat instead of messy and hard to read. Plus when your are typing the essay instead of writing your hand doesn't cramp so you are always concentrated on the work instead of concentrating on your hand cramping. It also helps because you have more time to work and improve the writing because there is no need to type up the paper that you already wrote because you typed it first. Computers overall make writing easier and is really helpful to improving their writing. With laptops in my class ways to turn in our work has greatly increased.We have turned in work through drop boxes, posting them on a wikispace, and emailing the work to our teacher. Laptops have also made research in the classroom much easier to find because we have the internet. It also make writing works cited so much easier with easybib.com. If I did not have a laptop in class next year I think I would feel like everything was much more difficult and that I would get behind in the class because I was used to having a computer to do things quickly. It would also feel as if the amount of assigned work would be much greater because it would take so much longer without a computer. To incoming freshmen coming to this class i would suggest for them to learn how do use a computer efficiently because they will need it to keep up. I would also say that you should appreciate the computers because all the work you have to do in this class would be much harder without the laptops.

By Bradyp on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I am a ninth grader that attends Arapahoe High School. When I first entered my ninth grade English class and saw the laptops looking so sleek and high tech, I have to admit I pretty much had a heart attack. My parents had always considered getting me a laptop but they were hesitant at the fact that these expensive devices were easily breakable and “adult toys”. I was assigned my first essay on Macbeth, the first couple weeks and without the laptops, I would have died. I was allowed to trade papers by switching USBs and editing each others. The accessibility that laptops offer improves my writing because I could collaborate with my fellow students. With just the click of a button, I have all the information in the world at my disposal. This improves the quality of my writing because my essays are based on facts. The major wikispace project worth a bajillion points would never have been conceivable without our computers. It totally transformed the droll black and white papers into multidimensional, hyperlink included, papers. The small country of Qatar located in the Middle East, near Saudi Arabia surprisingly also adds to my testimony. I had never heard of this place but Mrs. Smith, my English teacher, said we would actually be corresponding with students there. Our class participated in an organization called This I Believe which lets people speak about beliefs that guide their everyday life. We then switched papers using Wikispaces and I learned so much about their perspectives. I’m not dependant on my laptop but they are so efficient and it makes learning easy and takes it to the next level, which ofcourse should be the goal of every school.
Lauren

By Lauren S. on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a laptop computer in the classroom makes us students more excited or willing to write. We are so bored of the old "paper and pencil" way that we have just put a bad label on writing. But with computers, it doesn't hurt our hands, we can write more in a shorter amount of time, and the idea of having your own laptop in the classroom is so exciting and new, I think that we really wouldn't care what we were assigned. It is so much easier to edit things and add and delete ideas, and makes everything much more efficient. Now with laptops, if we have a question about something we don't have to lug out a dictionary or encyclopedia and look it up, we make two clicks and the whole world has put in information on the subject on the internet. The trick is to be able to figure out what is legitimate and what is not, which almost comes naturally (common sense). There is so much more to access in a classroom with laptops. For example, one day Mrs. Smith was talking about something and a lot of the class didn't know what it was, so one student entered a few keywords into a google search and within five minutes everyone had a full understanding because we had images, definitions, examples in context, whatever we needed.We have gotten so used to endless information at the tips of our fingertips that if there weren't laptops next year we might end up taking a few steps back. For me, at least, I would be able to adjust back to the old ways but it would feel so inefficient and useless, I don't feel that anyone would get much out of it. We have blogged with world renown professors, video chatted with Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, and had in-class discussions with college professors. Writing a narrative on wide-ruled notebook paper isn't going to do anyone much good. The incoming ninth graders have so much to look forward to. Like what I said above about video conferencing with Daniel Pink etc. It is such a cool experience and I'm sure that I'll never have another class like this one, which makes me sad. They will have such a great time here and I promise they will learn ten times as much about ten times more subjects than they would in any old english class!!

Sydney

By SydneyR on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

What do next year’s 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?


Having laptops makes it easier for students to write and also get better at writing because there is a wider variety in which you can learn (internet, blogs, etc.). In my experience, writing by hand gave me hand cramps and just made me want to get it over with, rushing it. This really didn't improve my writing, and just made it a task instead of enjoying it. By using computers, it is easier for me to type faster and definitely neater than by hand. For example, it gave more time to actually explore different sources on the internet for essays. It also gives more time to look over my writings to check for grammar and spelling errors, which improved my abillity to analyze.
In the classroom, we could do a lot more: blog on movies, books, and poems we have read, and read along with Shakespeare using online texts instead of books. We can't lose it and we can access it everywhere. It opens up more possibilites and gives us more freedom (as long as it relates to school). We can discuss topics in books using blogs. We can carry on the conversation outside of school, taking learning outside of the designated "teaching zone." It opens up new possibilities for what can take place in a classroom. We could even write essays on webpages, like this: justinp2012awnm09.wikispaces.com
If
the laptops were taken away, the class would be more limited and less fun as well. It's a big part of this class and if it were taken away, it would be a much harder class as well.
If you are coming into these classes next year, you would have a lot to be looking forward to. Having laptops doesn't mean you can play games online all class period, but it opens up a whole new frontier in learning experience. You can refer to an infinite amount of resources, look up books/poems/movies online and see other people's views and interpretations of it, adding onto your own understanding. It is a great opportunity and should be available in every classroom.

By justinp on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

In my opinion it is platform that can quite possibly make you a better writer but not necessarily. Someone that does not want to learn more or does not want to apply themselves will suffer using laptops but because of tools like word's synonyms and free down loadable programs like audacity are making words and writing way easier and more fun to use. Someone who really wants to learn will learn much much more using a laptop. Laptops are the future. We must embrace their ways because most of us student will use them until the day we die. We can use these programs to make amazing online works of writing like our wikified research paper (heres the link to mine: treyb2012awnm009.wikispaces.com).

For me not having a laptop next year will not affect me in any way because I invested in a laptop myself and I can just bring that to school and use that. Most teachers are reasonable about them. However i think that people you don't save their money like me will be rather sad about not having a laptop. They will miss out on all the super programs that are avalible on the computer itself and on the internet as well.

I would say to incoming freshman that they will have a very unique and unforgettable experience in a laptop class that will stick with you for a very long time. I would also encourage you to invest in a laptop of your own. It doesn't just have to be for school and it will make you so much of a better student.

By TreyB on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

How does having a laptop computer help students write better?
Obviously, laptops help with spelling and grammar, but in the ways of creative writing, laptops make so many more idea’s possible to handel. They allow students to organize thoughts, copy paste, and research in split seconds.
What happens in your classroom now that you have laptops that could not happen before?
Now that we have laptops in our classroom, it makes it easier to take notes, research and write. Everything becomes so much quicker and more efficent. Also, Smith has links on her website so we have easy access to examples and assignments. We also are able to communitcate on blogs which makes for interesting and wide converstations that never would be possible without the laptops.
Now That you have had laptops in your classroom, how would you feel if you didn’t have them next year?
I would be heart-broken! I love the laptops. We are able to do so much more work, we are more organized, we don’t have to waste paper, we can get information instantly with the laptops. They are the best idea to have in an english class. If I didn’t have them in my classroom next year, I would feel I was taking a step back in my education instead of the next step.
What do next year’s 5th grade students coming to your classroom have to look forward to?
So much! At first this class seems a little overwhelming and I didn’t really know where I stood as a writer, but now as we are getting to the end of the year I feel like I have grown so much as a person and as a student. You really just need to open yourself up in this class and express yourself. We have such an awesome class and an awesome teacher, Smith. If you have her when you become a freshman, you will so enjoy her class.
Thanks so much! Just remember always try to change the world, and develop a whole new mind. :)

By LisaL on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I think having laptops in the classroom is definitely helpful with writing. For one I find that it is much easier to write using a labtop. You can get down your ideas much faster and the presentation is much neater. I have bad handwriting so using a labtop is definitely helpful with that. Because of this as well as the fact that computers contain tools such as spellcheck I can focus much more on the content of my writing and do not have to waste time worrying about grammer and punctuation. Having a laptop avaliable to me is also very helpful with taking notes because I can just whip it out, quickly and neatly take some notes and then save them. The fact that it is very easy to transfer information between school and home (via a jumpdrive or email for example) also makes the laptop very useful and allows me to save alot of time. Also I think writing on the computers is good practice for the future in which many of our careers will revolve around using and typing on the computer which is why it is good to build up and improve these skills. The laptops have opened an incredible range of classroom oppurtunities that would have never been avaliable only a few years ago... For example we are able to use the computer program Cover It Live to converse with each other in real time. This supplements our fishbowl discussions because the entire class can talk with each other about many different ideas and subjects simultaneously something that would be impossible in a normal discussion. The laptops also allow educators from around the world to view these discussions and allow us to interact with them. The laptops also allow us to interact with other students around the world. For example last semester we did a project where we wrote This I Believe essays and posted them online. Students across the world in Quatar did the same and then we were able to talk to each other about the essays we had written. This was very interesting as we got to learn alot about these students and their life and cultural experience something that never could have been accompolished without laptops. This semester we have written Wikified Research Papers. These papers are not normal papers as they literally come alive because we were able to link to and imbed articles, videos, pictures, polls and anything else you can imagine within them. These are just a few examples of what we have been able to do with these computers...

By Paul A-B2012-Arapahoe on   3/17/2009
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One downside

Dear Mr. Mass,

I think that laptops are great for many reasons (all of which have been mentioned above), but they have their cons too. Since everyone else has got the pros covered, I’d like to discuss one downside of laptops.

Spell-check does not cover every grammatical error on your computer. Spell-check can’t fix fragmented or rambling sentences and also only checks text put into Word. I have noticed that some of the 9th graders above have spelled certain words as “expirience”, “tecnology” and “accebible”. Several people have made various other mistakes. I am assuming that the majority of people with grammatical errors did not use Word/Spell-check, showing that they were not able to catch the errors without the computer proofreading it. I even found that I had spelled “grammar” as “grammer” in my own post, showing that I am lost without Spell-check. Even Spell-check itself does not find problems within this sentence that I have typed in Word: “I use run a large pizza Chocolate burrito, running orange, large amounts trash, can.” It doesn't make any sense to us, yet the computer ignores it. I'm not saying that laptops are bad; it's just that we must not become completely dependent on computers. We must independently be able to write correctly.

By Robert C on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas
Having laptops in the classroom has been an amazing experience coming into my first year of high school. I've actually enjoyed writing more, because personally, in the past, I haven't been able to write for very long without my wrist starting to hurt. Having a laptop, the pain has ended, and my writing has improved so very much within just this year, whereas in middle school my levels of writing stayed just about the same, only adding a few new spiced up vocabulary words every so often. I've written my best essays, poems, summaries, anything, you name it, this year.
Now, with laptops, the entire world is available at my fingertips. All throughout middle school, I had to use my own knowledge to create a presentation, usually on a poster or in a booklet. With laptops, and most importantly, the internet and several tools unavailable outside of the computer world, I have been able to create projects that display superior qualities of all the resources available to me. YouTube, Wikispaces, Wordle, Blogspot. My computer tells me these are all incorrectly spelled, (just another great tool!) but these are all such powerful tools in the method of learning with laptops. No longer do messy drawings of webs with connections plague my posters, but instead beautifully organized webs spread across an infinite space, making as many connections as I need. No longer do I run out of room mid-sentence, but instead just continue onto a new, automatically-generated page. I can use another's work to assist the point I am making within an essay, and then just cite it at the end with NoodleTools, another great tool that automatically generates citations of any kind.
Of course, I'd be devastated not to have laptops in my classroom next year. So many negative things to look forward to: less resources, pain in the hand, so on and so forth. According the my English teacher, I have a very small chance of reaching a class with laptop use, so I must be ready for when the time comes. I hope to bring the knowledge and power of laptops to all classrooms, whether I make a difference or not, and even go to schools I've attended in the past to show them the power of these vast resources.
Next year's freshmen (freshmen in my case, I'm in high school) have to look forward to a lot of responsibility, learning, and hard work. Laptops may have all of these tools available at hand, but it still takes a while to master them, especially coming from a schools that have no laptops in the classrooms. It can be tough, at first, and many can think they can get away with stuff, such as playing games, or IMing each other in class. No, you can't get away from it, because you're not hurting the teacher, you're hurting yourself. And that is your choice.
Overall, laptops in the classroom is one of the greatest things to happen to education. It furthers learning through wonderful resources and great tools that help students to learn. And if the students chose to slack off, it has nothing to do with how the teacher is teaching, or how the laptops affect the classroom. Remember, those without laptops in their classroom can still slack off. (Doodling, daydreaming, etc) So, finally, laptops are one of the best tools in a classroom, but must be used wisely.

By Tristan L on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass
Having a laptop in the classrooms greatly helps student writing. With great tools like spell check, grammar check, online thesauruses and online dictionaries it is easier to focus on our ideas. Back before laptops, I know for me, I wasn’t as focused on ideas. I was too concerned with having correct grammar and correct spelling. While they are still important today, they do not consume all my attention when I am writing. I spend more time developing my ideas and my sentence structure. With laptops, we can spend more time making our writing perfect. Laptops also allow for many fun and exciting activities. For example, in our English class we wrote papers and embedded videos, pictures and links. It was an amazing experience made possible by laptops. To view my personal paper go to kinseym2012awnm09.wikispaces.com/Final+Draft. Also, as part of my English class, we read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. Because we had laptops, we had the great fortune of having a conversation with him via webcam. We also got to blog with many people around the world. It was a thrilling and exciting experience that one does not get without laptops. With all the exciting events that occur because of laptops, it will be very sad to go to a class without them. With laptops, classes are fun and exciting because it is not normal education. It is a lift in an otherwise dull day. Without them school goes back to being dull. I think that next year’s class of 9th graders will have so much fun in English wit laptops. I know I did.
Kinsey M

By Kinseym on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops


My story …
I came into ninth grade a slightly confident writer and person.  I am leaving as a completely confident individual, who is in charge of my own learning.  The story you are looking for is what happened between - when and how I changed.  Utilizing technology goes far beyond just learning to use spell check.

So, to answer your questions...
1. Having a laptop helps students to focus on their format and content rather then the look of their paper (how readable their paper is). It allows for more frequent and easier changes to the paper, spellcheck and editing tools like it put the emphasis of the paper on the content forcing the student to become a more confident and efficient writer. In general making it a more enjoyable paper to write.
Easier access to a plethora of information is something that happens in my classroom that has not happened before. Through the addition of laptops, not only have I felt that the content of my writing has improved, but also, perhaps even more important in the world of today, the ability for me to manage that same plethora of information. This is a skill vital for my success in todays world, a skill that hasn’t been a necessity prior. To be able to manage and understand the overwhelming amounts of information at my fingertips, only through exposer can I truly be confident that I can do that.
If next year I am in a classroom without laptops, I will take advantage of that situation. Ultimately the underlying message that using laptops in the classroom has taught me is that I am in charge of myself and my own learning and don’t need to take anything for granted. Managing and utilizing information is a lesson that I will never forget. Thus technology is a good tool to use and an essential one to know, but by reverting back to “the age of the pencil” in a future class it would put more emphasis on my format, rather then my content - both being skills needed for a good writer.
Incoming students have knowledge to look forward to. This knowledge is in a different and modern format that utilizes and emphasizes today.
-Kailyn

By Kailyn on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Possibilities are endless.
When I sat down in my English class the first day of high school, I was expecting another year of packets, on-paper-projects, and notebook writing. Having my hand cramp up, bored out of my mind for an hour out of every day never really appealed to me. It also made me think that using laptops in class everyday was a joke. Now I know, though, that most of what I do revolves around using laptops, no longer only in my English class, but in other classes as well.
From a young age, I have been using the computer, whether it was for playing computer games as a little girl, using MySpace to connect with my friends in middle school or writing a ten-page essay in high school. Younger generations today are used to using a computer, and most find it easier and more efficient to research with, write with, and still have fun with. So, why not bring it into a classroom in which students research, write, and have fun, allowing us to enjoy learning?
Right now, typing is a big deal in high school. Everyone takes a business technology class to help learn how to type more quickly for it is a good skill to have under one’s belt for the future and it will help one accomplish an assignment more quickly. Having laptops in the classroom helps improve typing skills, also allowing for work to be competed sooner because it takes less time than writing something out on paper. Having the laptops in the classroom helps with grammar usage, spelling, definitions, and better word usage, as well. With the laptops, students use Microsoft Word a lot which shows spelling errors, grammar errors, allows one to look up a word, and replace one word with a better one. With this, a student can learn the correct spelling of a word they may get wrong a lot, receive answers to questions they may have about where the comma goes, and expand their vocabulary. Lastly, having a laptop in the classroom gives students a connection to the outside world. In my English class, the students have connected with people around the world through live blogging, video chats, wikispaces, voice threads, and more. We’ve been involved with and have received feedback from other students at other schools, helping us broaden our beliefs, opinions, and ways of learning.
I do feel that going from having a laptop in front of me everyday back to the basic pencil and paper form of an English class will be really hard on me. I feel that it may be more difficult to concentrate and pay attention, it will take a longer period of time to complete assignments, and a lot of work that I could do in the classroom with a laptop would have to be done at home again or during one of my off hours which doesn’t sound like fun. There are some days in class that we don’t have our laptops out and it just feels awkward and empty, so having to switch back and become used to such an environment again would also be stressful.
Finally, I feel that laptops give way to many new, exciting, and unexpected experiences for incoming classmen. Such students will become better acquainted with technology – how to use it, the resources it allows for, etc. – but will also connect easily to the outside world and have better chances to want to and become better informed with whatever strikes an interest.
Laptops in the classroom give way to endless amounts of information and opportunities. Therefore, possibilities are endless.

By StellaB on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Mr. Maas,
I don't think that laptops can improve a student's writing because they can't improve the student's eloquence or make their thoughts more clear. Laptops can make a writing something easier because most people think that it is easier to type something than to write it down on paper with a pen or pencil. The only thing that I think a laptop can help about with a student's writing is their spelling because of the spell check feature that is on word.

There are many things that we can accomplish in a class with laptops that a class without them would not be able to do. An example is how we do fishbowls frequently. Whenever we do them about half of the class in in the "inner circle" and they just talk about the book or subject that we are discussing. Meanwhile, the rest of the class is in the "otter circle" and they all talk about the same subject as the inner circle, but they just do it on a blog instead of talking. This way, the whole class can talk about something and we all wouldn't have to wait to hear what everyone had to say about one thing before moving onto another because everyone has their own time to say things.

Next year, I don't think that I would really care if the English class that I am in next year doesn't have laptops. I actually think that I would like it better because I don't really like using the laptops this year because I think that with them the class is more focused on technology and how it is used in everyday life as opposed to subjects that have to do with English.

By BrookeM on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I think that learning with laptops has changed education in general for me. It makes a more modern way of learning instead of the traditional outdated way that is boring and unappealing to students. If we have the tools of today, why should we work like we live in the 50's?In Arapahoe, I know they let you use a laptop/bring a laptop, but they do not make it much of the curriculum. With learning with laptops, we learn the basic 9th grade english while learning with the tools of today (AKA technology) that makes the student more motivated for working in the classroom. It just seems like the more logical way of working.

The new things that happen in our classroom that could not happen before is what technology can bring us in laptops. If someone is sick, they can use Skype and learn the lesson for the day, then when they get back, it's that much easier. We also learn how to use the tools of today effectively and productively to help get the job done. Like in our fisch bowls (live discussions of a topic) we use a live chat stream for the outer circle to chat on privately separate from the inner circle that is possible only with laptops (it's possible other ways, such as writing on paper and passing it around...but this method is the most successful by far). Heck even the blog posts being done on these computers and student's reactions to learning with laptops is possible with the learning with laptops. What it brings to the classroom is a whole new array of tools, and practically the world, to your desk.

If I was so unfortunate enough not to be able to use laptops next year in class, it would seem......very different I guess. It's just seems so practical and useful to have a computer with it's fancy tools and modern learning styles that going back is hard to do. When I first learned we were going to be using laptops for working in class, I couldn't imagine what the possibilities were. Now that the year is sadly coming to a close, it's hard to imagine class without our laptop leisure to use. It just would be like learning to get used to regular learning again I guess. But with learning with laptops, this, well, "this is not education as usual."

for the new freshmen coming to school and being able to learn with laptops, I guess the advice I have to say is explore the possibilities that you have with these. The world of technology is amazing at what it can do and what people make of it. The internet, for example, most people take for granted as a connection between computers, but to me it's now like the huge nerd convention where anything you want done can be done. Laptops are amazing tools, just even thinking about the technology in one of these metal boxes is unfathomable to think about to me. And then what people make these do is even more amazing, and the world of possibility is just an endless golden road of opportunity. Well like I said before, my advice to the new students that are as fortunate as us to use these laptops to learn, all I have to say is just attempt the impossible with it and have fun with the possibilities!

By KyleL2012 on   3/17/2009
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My own question!!

Actually, if I may Dan Maas, I want to also want to raise a question of my own that I'm not sure many people caught on about.

We as a class read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink which discussed the differences between the right and the left brain, and as soon as I fully read the book, I attempted to connect things to the concept. Now computers are a totally left brained, they cannot think for themselves, and easily solve one-answer questions (and if anyone argues that, PROVE IT!) but anyways, the class learning with laptops was used in was Language Arts, a right brain teaching class (teaches right brain functions, takes thought, not one right answer). Now every other class is left brained because there is one definite answer to each question, but out of all the classes to use a left brain tool, we use it in the right-brained class? Why is that? We could have just as easily used these computers to help solve math problems, simulate science experiments, and watch films about the 1930's. But instead we use the computer for a right-brain thinking class.....what's with that?

By KyleL2012 on   3/17/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

In my opinion, Laptops are very valuable tools for writing. They give students a lot more access to pieces of writing and editing. On paper, students have to limit their comments and thoughts to the space available. On computers, students are not limited by physical space and can write or comment to their full ability. Having more comments, and having them more thoroughly explained helps me catch a lot more of my mistakes in my writing. Laptops also give students more access to different kinds of media, like YouTube, animation, images, hyperlink to articles, communication, etc. Being able to use videos and animations to give visual aid and present a situation to help support the ideas in a paper are very helpful. There is also more access to different still images to help improve writing as well. Students can connect articles to support certain claims or ideas, and can communicate easier with each other and other professionals. Laptops give access to all different kinds of information and media to help in content and presentation of ideas in a paper. Other classes are limited to words and any images they can draw, and can’t look for information as quickly or as efficiently. Before taking this class, I had to describe a situation and connect it to my topic with words leaving a lot of room for error in terms of the reader’s understanding. Now I can show them the situation, visually highlight the aspects I want them to see, and then explain it. I don’t have as many limits on my creativity with laptops, and would be devastated without them. I really want to use laptops again next year, use new programs to explain poetry, Shakespeare, and analyze a book. Next year’s students can look forward to being able to incorporate new ideas and new methods into their English classes, especially if they are well versed in a variety of programs.

By btrindade on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having a provided laptop in class allows students to use as many resources as they can. These laptops provide the whole world at the touch of their fingertips. With laptops in class one can blog and talk at the same time about different things. Also students can sit at home, and connect with the network and participate even when sick. The effect that this has on the classroom creates a around the world classroom. Without laptops, students have paper and pencil. The laptops make paper and pencils not required and save the worlds resources. Also, a paper can be linked to Youtube, linked to another website, and be constantly changed to help better the paper. If I don’t have laptops next year, I think I would be lost. I use a computer every day. It’s become awkward when the cabinets are locked when we have a substitute, and there aren’t computers to help learn. Students coming into my position next year can look forward to a ton of fun and a lot of actual learning, not just memorizing.
thanks,
Nickb

By nickb2012 on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,
Learning with laptops has never been something that I can take lightly. The English classes that I once knew and now cringe to remember involved my hand writing out things at a 25 wpm speed into a lined and bound composition notebook. The notebooks would be given to our teachers and they would grade them, theirs the only eyes to ever search the words we had written. With laptops, it’s like taking a leap from unheard of to notability. It’s the leap from the ‘has been’ to the ‘almost there’. It’s the ability to finally expand on your boundaries and do something different. The expectations have always been high and the bar is set way up there. We, as new freshmen, would stare at the bar, scaling the jump, anticipating that we just couldn’t do it. Right out of the gate Smith throws a curveball. We had to make this presentation on Macbeth for the class. What was more, our safety zone, our sanctuary of Microsoft Powerpoint was ripped out beneath our feet, leaving us laying face down, staring at this new tool. A wikispace. It was like… documents with videos, the ability to embed, hyperlinks, pictures and navigation galore! It was the first little nudge to make us step towards that high bar with the hint of confidence. It was my first encounter with wikispaces, and my page the connections page at: hand.wikispaces.com/Connections really showed off my mind for the first time, and I felt like it was something that made me, well, special. It was a step towards something new. We are given endless possibilities, faced with laptops during class. Still, as new freshmen, that bar seemed awfully high. Smith encouraged us onto further things, such as using the class blog smith9h0809.blogspot.com/)and liveblogging for fishbowl discussions on text. As naïve little freshmen it was all so complicated at once. And then, after time, it seemed like everything just sort of fell into place. I found myself using wikispaces for not only school work, but also for my personal work, where I post all new chapters of my book, which is currently 194 pages long, and gathering a handful of people that read it. The use of laptops has also allowed me to write more and thus be able to fit in the details that I otherwise would not be able to. It’s a tool for not only expounding boundaries hitherto unknown, but also to enhance writing that would have been otherwise mediocre.
Your fortunate friend,
Stephanie

By Stephanie on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Dan Mass,

The comments by the fifth graders are very sincere and honest. I feel the same way with my laptop. The fifth graders appear very intelligent and 21st century bound. The laptops have clearly opened the door for them for the future. They will have an abundant amount of advantages because of the laptops. They will be technologic savvy and be ahead of the game for the rest of their educational career. The disadvantages are it is very possible in their future classes, laptops will not be provided. If these 5th graders become dependent on having a laptop in the classroom and not be open to writing by hand or using a text book, their future tolerance of education could be in jeopardy. If they will not cooperate or function with a text book instead of a computer, it will be a bad asset to their experience. Laptops contain an endless amount of opportunity but if they become “mandatory” they will not be a good thing. The only way I would go back to fifth grade is if I was in a class like this 5th grade class. My 5th grade class was old fashioned and I did not gain anything from my 5th grade experience. If I was in a 5th grade class like this one, I would love to go back and start being a 21st century learner at an earlier age. We should learn that education is changing and the educational system needs to adapt to these changes. Laptops in classrooms are exactly what will lead education into the 21st century. These fifth graders are benefiting at an early age and will be ready for the 21st century. If our educational system steps up and embraces this grand, futuristic 21st century, lifelong benefits will be abundant.

Sincerely,
Ashley

By Ashley on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

I adore learning with laptops. I could never go back to a normal English class, it’s so darn amazing. Let’s take an example. The other day after school I was checking my email, when I saw a picture of Pete Wentz and Ashley’s new baby Bronx. Aww, cute baby. He was born 8 months after they were married said the caption. So, naturally I googled some of their wedding photos. Adorable Alice in Wonderland themed cake. I googled fun wedding cakes. Oh, there’s a really pretty one with roses all over it! Alright, back to the wedding pics. Wow their bridal bouquet is beautiful. I wonder what kind of flowers they are? Input into the web cite’s search engine. “Black Magic” roses. They are gorgeous! I wonder if I could plant some in my yard? More googling. Huh, people take long stem roses from their weddings and grow them into bushes. That’s really cool, let’s find directions about how to do that. Ooh, a word I don’t know the definition of, let’s go to mariamwebster.com Darn, you have to pay. I’ll have to bum it off of dictionary.com. I’ll have to remember to use that word in conversation. Back to the roses growing cite. Apparently you can graft a single bush to grow a ton of different roses! That’s so cool. But it takes a long time. I remembered learning about chemicals that stimulate faster root generation in science class. I wonder if there are some for grafting? A google search away is an arbor web cite. Wow, some guy made a chair out of a tree!
It’s true, the internet is most often used to pass time on pointless searches such as this, but in my English class, we are harnessing this connection power for learning! The internet is now used to enhance our learning experience, by bringing in real world examples, magazine articles, and videos. What would be a simple conversation about farenheight 451, now is much more enriched with examples to help people prove their point and alternate viewpoints all from the almighty internet. It also allows us to post on this very blog!
But not all of our laptop use is confined to the internet. Having laptops makes essay writing much faster and easier. Few students today can write speedily, but almost everyone types crazy fast. Cursive is even becoming obsolete in favor of block lettering and typing. To prove this last outlandish statement, I could refer you to a magazine article I read earlier. Oops, I don’t have it with me. Well, that’s what the internet is for! Now I can link directly to an online copy of the article. Laptops open huge windows of opportunity in the classroom.

By LeslieH on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas,
Having a laptop computer in the classroom helps me write better because you can do anything to express the way you feel. You can bold, italicize, underline, or color the words to make the words pop out out and expressive.
Now that we have the laptops in the classroom, there are many things we can do in the classroom that we couldn't do before. For instance, we play learning games during math that we get off the wiki that we can practice our weaknesses.
Next year that I am going into middle school, I will be a little upset that we will not have the EeePCs because I will miss out on a lot of great stuff but the next year's fifth graders should look forward to great games and Skype.
Sincerely,
Raina S. (The girl with the pink mouse.)

By Raina (Hopkins) on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr.Maas
How are you?I am fine. The laptops help out the student express feelings by changing the font or the color or maybe even changing the size. In writing we could not have are own note books do spell check for us,and we could not paste pictures from the internet onto
our writing journal. I would hate, just hate it if we could not use the laptops next year. I mean they are that awesome. Next year the 4th grade students have to look forward to a lot of things like typing fast, going on the internet a lot, and they also have to look forward to doing some homework on the computer. Hope to see you again soon.
Your friend,
Connor Harvey-5th grade at Mark Hopkins Elementary.

By Connor (Hopkins) on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

This is a comment for Cheyenne, I am Mallory G. and I am wondering if You, Cheyenne used to go to Whitman?

By Mallory on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,
Having a laptop can help us students with writing and much more. The most concerned for teachers is the writing. They want every student to write neat. Sometimes students from k-5 can have some sloppy hand writing. No problem, these laptops can make writing a breeze. And no more sloppy hand writing either. Plenty of things have changed after getting the laptops. No more kids grunting about their hand writing, and no more student messing up on their spelling. Plus you don't need any paper. Using a laptop is helping with spelling and the Earth by not using paper and automatic spell checker.
Now that we have had laptops in our classroom, how would we feel if we didn’t have them next year? All I can say is that if I didn't have a laptop next year I would go crazy trying to grab one. The reason for that is because I don't have very good hand writing. My hand writing isn't that bad, but it is bad enough for my brother and parents to say it is sloppy.
As a 5th grade student I believe that next years 5th grade students should look forward to using these wonderful creations. They should be prepared for the best experience of their life. They all should love these new laptops, because they will have lots of fun with them. Plus these laptops are just so magnificent that no one can resist them. So what I think they should look forward to is the fact that they will get to use these laptops.
Cassidy ( Hopkins)

By Cassidy on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

Having the laptops has done wonders with my writing, by enabling me to write all my work and also being able to check my spelling. It has also helped me by being able to use better words and have them with me on my jump drive. Another way it has helped me with my writing by being able to write assignments. They also help me with my writing by me being able to write it on the computer and not on paper and pencil. Another thing that they help me with my writing is that I can be able to save them.

Now that we have the laptops we are able to go the internet and check out websites that will help us in our writing. They also help us have a blog and have a wiki. Now that we have the laptops it is easier to write our assignments and check our spelling mistakes. We are also able to have jump drives and we can save our work. We can do so many more things that we could not do before and that is why I love the laptops.

The way that I would feel next year without the laptops is pretty sad, because then we won't be able to such as the internet and get the info that I will need. We won't be able to have games or free write when we are done. We also won't be able to have little key boards and we won't be able to save on jump drives. Another thing is that we won't have fun without the laptops. When we have writing to we won't be able to say, “ laptops”, because we won't have any. Those are the some reason's why I am sad that we won't have laptops next year.


What the next year's 5th graders have to look forward to is a fun time with the laptops. They will have a very fun time with the laptops. They can look forward with the laptops is a fun and cool time with the laptops. They look forward to jump drives, mouse pads, and much more. I just hope that they have as just a great time with the laptops as we did.

Sincerely,
Morgan (Hopkins)

By Morgan on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,
The laptops help us kids write better by showing us our problems in spelling , grammar and sometimes even punctuation. This helps so our teachers don't have to walk around to check that stuff as much.
Also, one thing that happens in class that couldn't happen before is the fact that the teacher just has to say go here or go there and so instead of having to say a prompt we can find it ourselves instead of the teacher having to use her voice and possibly hurt her throat talking so much.
If I don't have the laptops next year I will be sad because the laptops are so much fun that I kind of want to stay at this school forever because we are guaranteed to be able to have the computers next year if you stay or come here for fifth grade.
The next year fifth graders can look forward to being able to use these wicked laptops and to being able to have such great teachers as Mrs.Urbanek and Mrs.Claus because they are the best teachers that I have ever had.



Scincerely,
Chris (Hopkins)

By chris on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops


Dear Mr. Maas,
You asked us some questions on your last post that I think I can answer for you. Here they are!
Using the laptop is really fun!
I think it helps students write better because if the word is misspelled, then the computer underlines it in red, so they could go back to that word and fix it. Also they can highlight the word in a different color so that they can memorize that word.
When we didn't have the laptops we had to write on paper and we had to make sure that we didn't misspell a word, and make sure we use proper grammar. So now that we have the Eeepcs, it helps us with grammar and spelling.
When I don't have the laptops next year, I am going to feel very sad because I love the laptops so much!!!
Next years 5th graders have to look forward to being responsible because they have to take good care of their laptop! They also need to make sure they don't go on bad sites, and use the laptop in the right way!
I love having the laptops in our classroom, and I'm pretty sure my classmates do too! If you want to visit our blog or wiki, here they are,


urbanek5thgraders.blogspot.com or mrsurbanek.wikispaces.com
Please come visit the sites! Thank you!!!! Bye!

By Aizja on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

Having a laptop computer helps students write better because the EeePC can do many things that can help a student's writng. They have the internet in case you have to search up something, they have charts, power points and Microsoft word for if you have to type up something. The EeePC a great way to help a student's writing.

Unlike having a piece of paper a EeePC has the internet for you and also has a power point set up. You can't search up something as well as using the internet and you can't make a power point with out the laptop.

Now that we have the laptops in our classroom, I think that I would be pretty sad not having a laptop for writing. They are so fun to use that they would be hard to forget.

Next year's students coming to my classroom have to look forward to playing games on the laptops during free time and also going to search up things on the internet. I am 100% sure that the next year's students will have a lot of fun using the laptops.

Sincerely,
Jayme at Mark Hopkins Elementary


Be sure to visit our wiki : www.mrsurbanek.wikispaces.com
and also our blog: www.urbanek5thgraders.blogspot.com

By Jayme on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass ,
You have asked some questions about these Asus
EeePCs and here are your answers.

Having these laptop computers can help students without very good handwriting's work look better.

Now that my classroom has the laptops we can answer questions by blogging.

Next year if I don't have the laptops I would feel pretty disappointed Because the laptops are a good thing to have in the classroom.

Next year's fifth grades students have the laptop games to look forward to because they are fun and some of them are educational like L'tris is fun and you work on grouping shapes at the same time. While Tux Math you have to work on quick problems before the invaders knock down your fort. Some of the games aren't educational like Penguin Racer or Frozen Bubble, but the sure are fun.
From,
Cameron Franklin (Hopkins)☻

By cameron on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Maas,

A laptop helps me because it helps me know if there is a spelling or grammar error. In math we get to play math games on the laptop and sometimes Penguin Racer or one those other games. I would feel fine if we didn't have laptops next year because I still like writing with pencil and paper it is just not as fun. The 5th graders next year will probably look forward to playing on the laptops and writing on them.
Hopkins
Sincerely , Brian (Hopkins)

By Brian on   3/18/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

A very inspiring and rich "conversation." A new generation on the move!

By Randy on   3/19/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Sounds like a great program with lots of enthusiasm from students and teachers. And I applaud the district for their vision and strong leadership.

By BethD on   3/19/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Kudos on a great pilot -- and demonstrating the value of implementing the right tools at the right time. These students obviously are gaining through the proper implementation of this technology. To revisit a popular phrase, "Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a day - teach a student to use technology properly and they'll change the world."

Keep up the outstanding work. The leadership in technology really have made a difference in students' lives here!

Joe

By Joe Fox on   3/20/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

My Year 5/6 kids in Auckland, New Zealand are lucky enough to be using 14 Mac-books in the class. They use their google docs to write and a blog to show their work. extremeteam14.blogspot.com/ . They have done INCREDIBLE work this term. Their recounts are full of real, personal, thoughtful content. I'm very proud. Laptops mean they can work all at once, or in pairs contributing, collaborating and communicating. When they're done, they share the doc with my Google doc account that lets me edit and publish from anywhere. The most important thing is audience. Any teacher can give their children an audience by publishing their work on a blog.
We use synced RSS too. That means laptops are part of the reading program too, and they make comments on other class blogs. I don't know how I'd go back.

By Peter Hall on   3/21/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

hi,

General Comment

robinson



Laptop Fanatic

By Robinson on   4/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Hi,
I am so excited to read all the comments made by so many fantastic writers! I hope you all enjoy the laptops and use them for communicating, math and playing fun games. If we didn't have the laptops and didn't have the technology, we couldn't have this kind of "conversation" in our schools and community!
Mary

By Mary on   4/13/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Mass,
I am very proud to find out that there are other people out there that also like the triple EEE's and to find out that I am not the only one that likes to use these computers. I t really has opened up a new door towards learning and technology. I was really astonished to find out that they all enjoy using the computers and how much they enjoy writing so much. When you put a lot of thought into it you find out that technology is like a level towards higher education and is a step forward to your learning. I am proud to find out that I am not the only one who likes to write. It was very interesting that they also like to write.




Iratny 8-}

By Iratny on   5/20/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Dear Mr. Moore,
We watched the Inspired learning video in class and I was glad that other people agreed with us. As I watched the video, I saw high school students talking to you about how the laptops are helping us in class and become better writers. The high school students were absolutely right. The laptops are changing our lives. We are getting live experiences that we will need to take with us all the way to college. They really inspired me because I know that they agree with me, and that is amazing!

~Kaylee

By Kaylee on   5/20/2009
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Re: Writing with laptops

Having laptops available in the classroom has been a big advantage to my learning this year. Computers are a huge step up from pencil and paper because they make note taking easy and research accessible. Taking notes is faster allowing for more detailed information to be taken in. This helps later because you can look back and have more detailed notes. You don’t have to wait to get home to a computer to start on work with laptops. You can start in class, which gives you a head start on your homework. With laptops, all your work is organized, and you don’t have to worry about shuffling around with papers. With laptops, we can all go to a website and our teacher can show us something instead of having to watch him/her and be expected to remember it for later.

By Garrett on   3/17/2010
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Re: Writing with laptops

Excellent thought i liked it.Students will easy catch the point and easily understand.
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Marlynn

By Laptop Deals on   8/3/2010
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Re: Writing with laptops

Excellent thought i liked it.Students will easy understood.
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Laptop Deals

By Marlynn on   8/3/2010
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Re: Writing with laptops

nice....

By Laptops on   11/2/2010
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Re: Writing with laptops

Thanks for posting, this is really what we all need to know and i am sure this information will be really helpful for all of us,i am also looking forward for more updates.

By Character Education on   12/22/2010

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