Jim Heynderickx gave a great presentation on laptop program implementation tips. The most surprising fact: his school funded the entire program from within the existing technology budget — an admirable accomplishment in an age of inflating technology budgets. This makes it a very unusual program compared to those of other schools. I wonder how many others have funded their programs completely internally.
Jim also made a number of other valuable suggestions. Get complete faculty buy-in by finding solutions to their major concerns. Buy inexpensive laptops. Have the school own the laptops and restrict student system privileges. Implement one year at a time if possible.
Another interesting fact about Jim’s program is that he follows a model of family ownership of laptops in the upper school in contrast to his own middle school program. This encourages student and family responsibility for making choices and caring for the laptops in a manner that will prepare them for a college computing environment.