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Paul Fuller was our special guest in a live Digital Chalkie webcast in this conversation around how one globally aware primary school got their one-to-one parent funded notebook program off the ground please tune-in. Paul explains about the students’ reactions, planning, financing, technical and pedagogical shifts.

Below is a podcast of Digital Chalkie webcast #6: How to start a parent funded notebook programme in a Primary School recorded on 8 p.m (WST) Thursday 13 2008:

We find out what happens if you give a kid their own device with access to the connected world? Why have Rudd/Gillard and Smith got it right with this policy of trying to get computers into the hands of students? Or do you have a different opinion?

This is a slideshow from one of the presentations Paul gave to the school community:

To get the discussion rolling before the webcast, I posted this text below to a few email lists, sourced from this website here. This piece was posted on the Abilene, Kansas High School Dialogue Buzz website during the spring of 2003. It was an anonymous post by a student, but is VERY powerful.

Let’s have a little competition at school and get ready for the future. I will use a laptop and you will use paper and pencil. Are you ready…?
I will access up-to-date information - you have a textbook that is 5 years old.
I will immediately know when I misspell a word – you have to wait until it’s graded.
I will learn how to care for and harness technology by using it – you will read about it.
I will see science concepts in 3D – you will do the odd problems.
I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world – you will share yours with the class.
I will have 24/7 access – you have the entire class period.
I will access the most dynamic information – yours will be printed and photocopied.
I will communicate with leaders and experts using email – you will wait for Friday’s speaker.
I will select my learning style – you will use the teacher’s favorite learning style.
I will collaborate with my peers from around the world – you will collaborate with peers in your classroom.
I will take my learning as far as I want – you must wait for the rest of the class.
The cost of a leased laptop per year? - $250
The cost of teacher and student training? – Expensive
The cost of well educated Australian citizens and workforce? - Priceless

Here are some key points made by Paul on the programme:

- OGPS is a public primary (K-7) with only 120 students

- We are rolling out laptops for all students 4 - 7 (60 students)

- We are using the base model MacBooks with combo drives.

- Most are parent funded (combination of leasing and purchasing)

- Families in financial hardship (approx 20%) are provided with a
laptop by the school for use during school hours only. Many of these
families are already seeing the value of a take-home laptop and many
are trying to find the funds if they can.

- Parents are given the choice of purchasing outright or leasing.
Machines will be upgraded every 2 years.

- Prices include AppleCare extended warranty and insurance.

- Families who purchased outright won’t be able to claim any tax
rebate, as it starts in 2008-09. My understanding is that families who
lease will be able to claim the component of their lease costs that
fall within that financial year.

- I won’t disclose any of the pricing at this stage (commercial-in-
confidence) except to say that we were very happy with the way that
Apple supported the school.

- As always, the key to this process has been getting buy-in from
staff and parents.

- And before you say “But my school can’t afford that” …. remember
we are a dirt poor public school one suburb across from Maddington.
What we do have is an amazing school community where the staff,
parents, kids and Principal understand and support what we are trying
to do.

- Someone described us last year as a ’small community school with  a
global vision’. I like that :)