The following was originally published October 13, 2009 at http://blogs.wcboe.org/techcoachpatti/2009/10/13/using-our-mini-laptops/
Classrooms in our schools now have 5 mini laptops (netbooks) for our students to use. How are you using them with your students? Please share any ideas that work for you as you and your students use the new laptops.

Ways to use our 5 mini laptops in the classroom


In these pictures the laptops are still plugged in and can be used all day long with power. Notice the position of the safe. It is close to the table where the students are working.

CampbellDSC04184_s.jpgSowellDSC04186_s.jpg










We can make a directory for each teacher on the I drive in the SHARED folder where students can save files. A shortcut to that folder can be placed on the desktop of the laptop.
Activity
Description
Resources
Collaborative Writing - building a story in Word
The teacher types a story starter on each computer in a Word file. The stories are on the screen. Students go to a computer and add a paragraph to the story. Watch the story unfold!
Writing Topics - for grades 1-12
wiki
The teacher has built a classroom wiki. Students have their own wikipages within the wiki and can write stories or write on any topic assigned by the teacher.

VoiceThread - book reports
Teacher builds a VoiceThread for "book reports" and makes student identities. The VT can be open on each computer in the "mini lab" in the classroom. Students change to their own identity and record their thoughts about a favorite book.

Images for the VT could include pictures of the students holding their book, drawing that students make of a scene in the book or a poster with a new cover for the book...
Flickr Toys
blog
The teacher has created a classroom blog. She/he writes posts for the students to comment on. These posts can be on any topic students are studying.

Pixie
Students use images and create text to tell a story with Pixie. Their stories can be saved as a movie.

Interactive websites
Teachers create a wiki and add links on their wiki pages to interactive websites. Students simply click on the links and go...!
Interactive web sites
Education City
Teachers build "My City" and students login to Education City and do their assigned work.

Internet Scavenger Hunt
Teachers create questions around a topic in science, social studies or any content area. The students use the Internet to hunt for the answers.

Kidspiration/Inspiration
The teacher can create templates for students to complete.
Kidspiration Make 'n Take
Sample templates
Math Templates
Tutorials and Templates
Web Research
Teacher creates a hotlist of sites for students to explore and complete activities.

Google Docs
Students can work collaboratively on a document with this application. Presentations, spreadsheets or documents

Graph Club
Students work together in groups to gather data from their classmates and then create a graph in Graph Club.

Science
As students are doing a science experiment or exploration they can use the mini laptops for recording their observations and resulting data.

Listening Center
Create a hyperlink to TumbleBooks through Wicomico County's library and students can watch and listen to books online.
TumbleBooks
Reading/LA using MS Word
Students write a report on a topic, insert clipart from Word,and use basic editing tools to make titles, subtopics and bulleted lists (text features).
MS Word
Museum Box
Create a Museum Box - describe an event, person, place, animal, or concept by placing objects and writing text in a virtual box.
http://museumbox.e2bn.org/
Wordle
Create a Wordle showing the main idea of a story in your anthology
http://wordle.net/create
PhotoStory
Create a digital story using Photo Story

blog
Respond to a discussion question on a classroom blog.

wiki
Visit interactive websites linked from a classroom wiki.

Image Blender
Create images in Image Blender to describe a science concept. Insert the images into PowerPoint and add text for a presentation to your classmates.

Pixie
Write and original story in Pixie and illustrate it.

TimeLiner
Make a time line of major events in your life using TimeLiner.

PowerPoint
Take pictures around your school and put them in a PowerPoint slideshow. Add descriptive text and make a tour of Delmar Elementary School. Include some of the exciting activities students do at Delmar.

VoiceThread
Create a VoiceThread on a topic in reading, science, social studies or math.

Graph Club
Survey your classmates about their favorite foods, sports, and TV shows. Make graphs using Graph Club.

Kerpoof
Create your own movie with Kerpoof
http://www.kerpoof.com/
Tikatok
Write your own story on Tikatok
http://www.tikatok.com/
Art
Experiment and create art.
http://www.nga.gov/kids/kids.htm
Kidspiration
Visit National Geographic Kids and explore a topic of your choice. Use Kidspiration to make a graphic organizer that shows what you have learned.
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com//
Google Earth
Use Google Earth and find the location of a place you are reading about in your anthology or a place you are studying about in Social Studies.

PBS Kids
Be a history detective on PBS Kids
http://pbskids.org/historydetectives/index.html
Music
Create music online - http://www.creatingmusic.com/ or http://www.sfskids.org/templates/home.asp?pageid=1