In the last couple hours, I have completed my math homework, read the powerpoint from notes I missed in biology class, and started this piece for journalism class, all on my MacBook Air. Please don’t take it away.
I could understand a logical argument if there was significant tax money involved, but in this case it was a grant. No taxes were raised, no FCCPS parent had to chip in extra, and there was no negative impact on the community.
While I am an eternal fan of the classic classroom environment with just a teacher and their students, this environment is not jeopardized by these laptops, as teachers control when students have them out.
About eighty percent of all my classwork, quizzes and tests are online on our Macbooks now. Having work online opens up more opportunities and advanced tools to help us learn in every subject. In Math class, we can now use online calculators to solve advanced equations; in Science, we can do online labs that don’t require materials and specific teacher supervision; in English, we can use websites that have books online.
Particularly for a school that supplements an online newspaper, these laptops are essential to maintaining a constant stream of news updates to the site and enabling the editing process to flow out of the classroom to wherever students may go.
Many of the adults in the community believe that George Mason went too far when they created the 1-to-1 program. I invite those adults to step into the classroom and see the balance that many of our teachers have found.
There will always be abusers of the system: kids who watch Netflix instead of listening, kids who will peruse social media instead of following along on PearDeck, kids who will cheat on Schoology quizzes. But there have always been system abuses and there always will be, regardless of what technology is in use.
Our administration has trusted us with these learning enhancement tools and we, as students, have gladly accepted the challenge.
The possibilities in each class are endless with the Macbooks and we haven’t even seen the bulk of these possibilities. We are constantly evolving our technology at Mason with the help of some of the best IT workers around. Every year there are more and more things that our school puts on our Macbooks that help us learn. We will never fall behind in this technological stampede.
We are always evolving, and if we were take our first step back by getting rid of the Macbooks, we might not be able to keep going forward. Mason would not be where it is now without our technology. Mason has prepared its students to go to the colleges we want to and get the careers that we get because of our technology enhancement tools.
Technology at Mason has become an essential tool in and outside of the classroom. Our school encouraged our educational development when they applied and received the grant for these laptops. Please don’t take them away.