By Nicolas Quiroga and Aditya Sathe
Fair Lawn High School is set to introduce laptops to current freshmen and sophomore students this coming Winter. The introduction, part of the high school’s new 1:1 Initiative, hopes to improve student access to technology in the classroom.
When asked about how the technology will benefit students, Fair Lawn High School English teacher and member of the 1:1 Initiative committee, Garrett Van Curen, discussed the greater degree of accessibility individual laptops will offer students.
“... With greater access to technology, and with students having their own laptops, we are now afforded greater flexibility. We don’t have to fight over laptops anymore,” Van Curen said.
Fair Lawn High School’s laptop initiative is part of a growing trend. As more school districts give laptops to students, many others have chosen to follow suit. Paramus and Englewood high schools have given laptops to their students, as well as Ridgewood and some others in surrounding areas throughout Bergen County.
Fair Lawn’s Class of 2023 will officially be the first class in Fair Lawn’s history to have a personal, school-issued device for all four years of high school. When asked about how she planned to use the technology, a freshman student at Fair Lawn High School discussed the benefits of increased access to technology.
“It's going to make it easier to do homework. I think that administrators want to make doing our work easier,” she said.
School officials have planned to integrate this technology for a number of reasons, one of which is individualized education. When asked about the 1:1 Initiative and its goals, the Instructional Technology Coach of Fair Lawn High School and Special Education teacher, Dr. Baptiste-Bosco, emphasized the importance of individualized learning for students.
“The first benefit is that you have personalized learning. So whatever digital need a student has, it’s personalized,” Baptiste-Bosco said.
While many schools have begun giving laptop computers to students in recent years, Fair Lawn High School’s choice of laptop sets it apart from other districts. While many other districts, like Englewood and Paramus, use Google Chromebooks, Fair Lawn plans to introduce the Dell Latitude 3190 two-in-one laptop, a touchscreen laptop with many more features than the Chromebook, providing students a greater and more versatile range of programs.
While speaking about the device itself, Baptiste-Bosco described the features that set it apart from other options.
“One of the features of this device that will make it more exciting and engaging is the touchscreen. Our district is rare since we can go from laptop mode right to tablet mode in seconds,” Baptiste-Bosco said.
While the logistics of the rollout of these laptops are still being discussed, teachers at Fair Lawn are already piloting the devices in an effort to ensure that by 2024 every student at Fair Lawn High School has a school issued laptop.
Thumbnail credit: Dell Computer Corporation
Header credit: National Gaucher Foundation