UHS is considering adopting a 1:1 student laptop program within the next few years. No fewer than four of our peer high schools in the area are also seriously considering such initiatives. Up until now, only Urban School and Sonoma Academy had fully implemented high school student laptop programs.
This new momentum has everything to do with Web 2.0. Whether or not you buy into the hype, it is true that the prevalence of low-cost, widely used scripting (PERL, PHP, ASP) and database (mySQL) applications have given rise to a new generation of data-driven web services such as Moodle, Google Maps, and podcasting. At the same time, students have learned to navigate new Internet technologies through e-commerce, social networking sites, and music file swapping.
More than ever, the wireless-equipped laptop has become the indispensable tool to access these resources at any time. Anyone who wants to fully engage in these new means of communication needs a fully-featured device that is accessible at any time and can move with him/her from place to place. As schools select which of the new Internet technologies will become mainstays for education, the pressure will increase for schools with the necessary resources to provide greater ubiquity of computer access to students.