As part of our single handed attempt to stimulate the economy, I bought an HP mini laptop (my husband got an iPod). This was the same weekend we bought the treadmill and a new comforter set. No, it wasn’t a tax return. Instead it was finding out we had to pay about $2000 less in taxes than we expected. Instead of saving it like responsible people, we spent it in typical American fashion. Well, maybe not so typical as we actually did have the money to spend.
As usual though, I digress.
The important info is that I got a laptop. Coupled with my cool cell phone and my iPod, I think I’m up to date with teh kids and their technology. The laptop isn’t actually much of a toy. I’m counting it as an educational expense, since the entire reason I bought it was to be able to grade, no matter where I am.
Thanks to a grant from the state government, my classroom has been decked out with 30 cheap Linux computers. We’ve also been introduced to Moodle, which is a classroom management webiste. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous at first, but after a few months of using the computers and Moodle, I LOVE it.
One of the many upsides to this new technology is that my classroom has gotten fairly green. Sure, we use power for the computers, but I have made two sets of photocopies so far this year. All my tests are on the computer. All their homework is turned in online. So are their essays.
While this saves quite a bit of paper (for everyone), it means that the only way to do my grading is with a computer. We have a computer, but it is in the family room, where there really isn’t anything for my son to play with. Not that it matters, because the second he sees me on the computer, he wants to play with it. That meant all my grading had to wait until after he went to bed…which left me about two hours to get my grading done. And that’s if I wanted to do absolutely nothing fun for myself.
This was not a great option.
Especially since once or twice a semester, I get so bogged down, that I take off for a few hours with my stack of grading, sit in a coffee shop and get as much work as I can done since I have no interruptions. With no actual papers, this wasn’t an option, yet the work piled up.
So, I got a laptop. Now not only can I do my work while my son watches Thomas or plays with blocks (for some reason, he’s not as interested in the laptop), but when I took kids on a field trip, I got to bring my laptop and get some work done while they were in sessions. It was great!