My students are becoming more tech savvy due to their experiences in school and at home. They understand the advantages of technology, and they want to use it. It is, however, inconvenient and time-consuming to check out the technology they need to support their learning. We have laptop and iPad labs available to us, but to check them out is difficult. We have to wheel them to our room, and if we do not have a plan time, we cannot leave our students unattended to get the carts or to return them. My students have really become accustomed to using the internet to research information, and they get frustrated when they cannot have immediate access to it.
A donation would help me to provide iPads and, possibly, a laptop or two. I would love to have at least three iPads for my classroom on which the students could do some quick research. For example, right now we are working on persuasive essays. They would love to find facts to support their opinions, but it is difficult to justify checking out an entire laptop or iPad lab for three or four students to do research. My students also love reading current events on the iPad I have from some grant work I did. It is not really "mine," but it is mine to use as long as I am teaching in the Lincoln Public Schools. I have a couple students who would use the iPad every day if I let them. If I had one for each of my students, they would probably use them at some point each day.
I could also have my students use iPads and Apple laptops for writing. As an example, there are some great programs on which the students can find correct spellings and definitions for words. There are other apps on which you can find synonyms for words. I feel this would help my students to become stronger writers in the long run.
I want my students to have access to the same technology at school that they have at home. I almost feel as though I am holding them back technologically. That is a sad feeling to experience.