Book Review

1-to-1 Learning

Laptop Programs That Work, 2nd edition

by Pamela Livingston, International Society for Technology in Education, Washington, D.C., 2009, 237 pp., $37.95 softcover

When all students in the classroom have a laptop at their fingertips, a whole new world of instructional possibilities appear. Pamela Livingston, author of 1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work, has served as a director of technology for several independent schools, allowing her to provide practical advice for implementing a laptop program.

1-to-1 Learning

Three traits above all seem to separate the successful programs from others, Livingston says. First, educators must be at the helm and take the lead. Second, planning needs to happen before a single laptop is purchased — a component often shortchanged. Third, all stakeholders need to be committed to implementing the program.
The book’s 13 chapters share numerous lessons in graphic presentation, such as small charts and bullet points to emphasize important components. The references, resources and sample acceptable-use policy were most valuable.

While 1-to-1 Learning contains helpful information, the numerous testimonials and references to featured school programs only serve to slow the pace and readability.

Also, I would have appreciated an expanded chapter on Web 2.0 and beyond with a comprehensive discussion of how teachers in elementary and secondary schools are using wikis, blogging, podcasts and other online tools. This shift is imminent. Educators have moved from the role of disseminating knowledge to one where they facilitate the learning of students who have information at their fingertips and are expected to apply it toward their own growth.

Reviewed by Paul A. Shaw, superintendent, White County Schools, Cleveland, Ga.