[K12OSN] [Bulk] Computer lab needed in Elementary school?

ollenotna2000 ollenotna2000 at yahoo.it
Fri May 6 10:46:30 UTC 2011

Il 05/05/2011 19:33, Joseph Bishay ha scritto:
> Hello everyone,
> We are in the process of building a new elementary school, and one of
> the education consultants who specializes in elementary schools has
> told us that "modern" elementary schools do not have a need for a
> computer lab.  In fact, we were told that our planned computer lab is
> detrimental for the school's image and reputation as it is "old
> fashion".
> To be honest I was very shocked.  While both of us agree that there
> should be some computers in each of the classrooms, not having a
> dedicated computer lab to me is surprising.  In Ontario there is no
> specific curriculum for computers in elementary school but I know that
> in my elementary school we did have a lab and used it extensively!
> I wanted feedback from those of you in education as to what you think.
>   This does affect our planning and budget greatly so I appreciate your
> feedback.

I'm kind of a lurker in this list, but accept my 2 cents about the topic.
Here in Italy, as far as ICT diffusion in schools is concerned, we are 
living prehistoric times compared to you. For the average schools a 
decent computer lab is a dream.
Yet government usually prefers to run after excellence than diffusion, 
so only a few number of schools, at every level, can develop innovative 
And in such a situation "fashion" and "economical interests" play a big 
Thus consider what I say in this perspective: I'm talking of 
"exceptional" and not of "normal" schools.
Well, in the last years the trend is definitely to give up with computer 
labs and to work in a 1-1 scheme: each student with his own computer, 
possibly a netbook in a wifi environment.
The idea is that if there is a whiteboard in each classroom and each 
student has a (always connected) netbook, there's no need for a 
computer-lab as all ict-work is done in the classroom by any teacher in 
any subject.
The first experiences were done with OLPCs, but now the choice are netbooks.
In some situations each student is given a personal netbook for the 
whole year, that he can take home and let him connect to the school 
Of course this utopic point of view may sound ridicolous in our national 
situation, and we must not forget the fact that this is getting a very 
big business here in italy, but there could be a sense in all this.

Antonello Facchetti

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