Thursday, June 08, 2006

Laptops & flash drives: LaParenting article on computers, parents, students & teachers in June edition

New editor of LaParenting Andrea Arnold knew that I cared about technology in the classroom. She interviewed me to write a story for the June edition of LaParenting, a recent publication of Gannett and the Shreveport Times. Included in the story were remarks by Caddo Magnet High compadre Bill Knox, an advanced media producer, and Jered Batten, a student tech whiz at CMHS.

Please see Arnold's LaParenting story via

And here's a brief version of my parent-student guidelines:

1. The Sunshine law: take the computer out of the back bedroom. Make sure you and your child use it where family purview will take place.
2. Avoid divorce; buy a laptop. It can be moved easily and integrated into family life. It's particularly good for parents. You can do your work or shopping or surfing without isolating yourself from the family. Kids' work locations can move as you move.
3. Everyone should try to develop a usage length guideline. Maybe 50 minutes, max. Then you must go outside for 15 mins. What happens over the course of a session is brain overload and tunnel vision (see general guidelines for effective study habits). Time away from the keyboard is important for synthesis and for thinking breakthroughs enabled by your reading.
4. Plan ahead. Everyone should participate in entering deadlines and dates on the computer calendar in addition to the cabinet calendar. It comes under the heading Go where the kids are.
5. Don't be stingy about computer extras. Get a digital camera for the kids. If your family collects a lot of photos or music, get an extra hard drive.

I'd be happy to hear your observations and questions on this hot topic.

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