Sunday, January 3, 2010

123, ABC, TCP/IP, and now PLN-the power of your personal learning network

Our school is seriously considering replacing our desktops for a more mobile approach.  We've tossed around the idea of netbooks throughout the fall and I've been the guinea pig with my Acer Aspire One.  (See my post/review of this netbook here.)  I've run this netbook through some pretty rigorous use and our tech department seems satisfied that these devices can handle just about any classroom app we can throw at it.  The only exception however seems to be in the area of video production but I have yet to try anything beyond a standard Youtube length.

With our concerns about the netbook's firepower behind us, we needed to look into the sturdiness, network connectivity, and mobility of these devices.  We looked at the Acer, HP, Asus, and Dell netbooks and we found that the Dell seemed to fit our needs the best.  Our next step was to contact another school that uses the Dell Latitude 2100 with the cart to validate what we thought was going to be a good match for us.

Now as an avid twitterer, I've been tweeting away about our thoughts to Dell Latitude 2100 and sure enough, @bkolani aka Basil Kolani from the Dwight School in NYC replied via twitter that his school deployed 5 netbook carts in the fall of 2009.  So we set up a Skype session where several members of our tech department were able to ask specific questions about their experience not only with the netbooks but the cart itself.

If interested, one may listen to our Skype conversation here.  It is unedited so be patient in the opening seconds.

After the Skype session our tech department was relieved that many of their ideas regarding the new direction had been validated.

There is nothing better than having a member of your PLN validate the potential direction and financial investment our school will be considering and for that I am truly grateful.

Dave Warlick's Picture of his Personal Learning Network

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