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College of Education Laptop Initiative

Across the country, mobile computing is changing the way teaching and learning happen. The COE Laptop Initiative puts USF students and faculty at the leading edge of these changes.

This fall, the college has increased its commitment with a full time lab and dedicated support staff for the Initiative.


What is the Laptop Initiative?

The Laptop Initiative, still in its pilot stage, is a project that the USF College of Education started in Fall 2003 in partnership with Apple. The goals of the initiative are:

  • to equip students and university and school personnel with 21st century knowledge and skills;
  • to improve the quality of teachers and increase student performance;
  • to reform teaching methods and optimize learning through integration of technology into the curriculum; and
  • to lead research and evaluation efforts in the area of technology integration

This project prepares pre-service teachers to seamlessly integrate wireless technology into the curriculum through innovative practices. As pre-service teachers learn the fundamentals of teaching that help weave 21st century skill development into the fabric of education, they (as well as faculty involved in the project) use wireless laptops and videoconferencing equipment (iSight cameras) to make teaching and learning possible anytime, anywhere. This initiative, with its focus on technology integration, facilitates cooperative learning and motivates students to become more engaged as active agents in the educational process.

The USF College of Education provides ongoing, intensive, hands-on training as well as laptop technology and supplementation of on-line instruction. In the "Laptop Lounge" computer lab, students and faculty can work collaboratively on innovative projects under the helpful guidance of James Welsh (a former graduate in Elementary Education and teacher in one of the local school districts), who provides not only technical assistance but also ideas for innovating instruction. College faculty model technology integration in the classroom, and consultants work with teachers on integration techniques at the school level—a methodology design to build capacity so that participants in this project can train their peers.


The Laptop Lounge

Located in EDU 252, the Laptop Lounge is the first stop for information, support, and resources. The Lounge has equipment available for student or faculty use to support scanning, video and audio production, digital photography, and much more. The Lounge is open Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM, unless it is reserved for training.

Throughout the year, training and special events are held in the Lounge for students and faculty involved in the Laptop Initiative. Upcoming training sessions include iMovie, iPhoto, .mac, podcasting, iTunes, Garageband, iCal, and OS 10.4. For training dates, check our online calendar.


Faculty Support

In addition to open training sessions in the Laptop Lounge, faculty working with the initiative can receive additional support in adapting existing course work and pedagogical ideas for integrating technology into courses. Faculty members can also take advantage of online and print software training resources.


Support for Students

Students enrolled in the Laptop Initiative have access to the Laptop Lounge for training workshops, peripherals, support, and lesson ideas. Workshop sessions can focus on application training or on specific assignments from laptop-infused courses. LI staff are also available to visit internship placements to assist with teaching technology-infused lessons.

Follow this link to read about the history of USF's College of Education Laptop Initiative pilot project.

 

 


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