The Montessori freshmen team had an interesting meeting with a parent this morning. In trying to work as a team to help the student achieve success, the suggestion was made that the student be given a laptop. Without getting into the details, it was felt that the student might be better organized with folders on the laptop, and more motivated to get work done if able to use a medium he enjoys—technology.
In a nutshell, it seems to boil down to what school values and what the student values. Schools value a certain type of compliance. The student showed that he did not value what we were offering, and he failed almost all of his classes. The team was split on whether or not to let the student have a laptop. Concerns voiced included the notion that the laptop was rewarding the student for failing to comply, and thus sending the wrong message. In 2007, is a laptop a reward or a tool? We lag so far behind. All students should have laptops*. Why do we seek to “punish” students who don’t fit the mold rather than trying to change the mold?
*In a post I got from my friend Rich Kent, Director of the Maine Writing Project, Rich wrote that “all of our middle schoolers in the state have laptops. Now, we're on to giving them to high schoolers. All the