A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Student Expectations with Laptops

Monday, 27 July 2009 | 11 Comments

As a PBL school, we have lots of “Student Expectations” at our school for nearly all aspects of an ordinary day (entering the classroom, in the playground, walking through a corridor – we have narrow corridors, formal assembly). In a couple of weeks, there will be another aspect of the “ordinary day” – laptops. So, I’ve drafted some student expectations for the technology committee at my school to discuss.

The PBL program at my school is called “ROAD”, being Respect, Organisation, Application and Determination. And so the expectations fall into those categories:

cyberbullying hurts / CC BY-SA 2.0


  • Look after your laptop
  • Keep your laptop secure
  • Respect yourself and others privacy and confidentiality


  • Bring your laptop fully charged to school every day
  • Back up data securely


  • Follow the teacher’s instructions
  • Stay on task


  • Use your laptop for learning
  • Ensure work created is your own or acknowledges the author

This is supposed to be a simple document which will be turned into a poster for classrooms. It’s also a way to permeate a common language through-out the school that teacher’s can remind students about.

I was also going to add the quote “‘with privilege, comes responsibility”, found in the PowerPoint file at the bottom of this page: Strategies & Tips from teachers for classroom management issues with laptops.

Anything I’ve missed? Any suggestions?

Posted in • Classroom ManagementTechnologyDigital Education RevolutionLaptops 4 Learning | Short URL:


Darcy Moore on  27 July 09  at  11:03 AM #
I wonder what advice we give students about how they organise their work in folders and file naming conventions? I need to work this out for my school but am loathe to be prescriptive. Suggestions?
Melissa Giddins on  27 July 09  at  11:23 AM #
Great post - I love the ROAD and all that it stands for. Perhaps some reference to netiquette? I think you have been quite comprehensive while keeping it simple enough to be on a poster. I agree with Darcy about naming conventions being necessary. I feel, however, that if we are not prescriptive it may not happen. Some teachers don't understand the necessity (or are not good at it) and students will have a great volume of saved files as time goes on. Kids carry folders organised into subjects so perhaps that is the first step in organising their computer files - by subject and by topic?
Darcy Moore on  27 July 09  at  11:28 AM #
I really need to talk about this and my first reaction is simply, each subject having a folder and then topic sub-folders, perhaps divided by term - with an assessment task one too. I like kids to have their name in the file name with the task title: darcymoore_KingLearessay.doc Someone pull me up if this is not the best idea.


Simon Job on  27 July 09  at  11:33 AM #
Thanks for the comments. With storing files, another question is what gets stored on the laptop and what gets stored on the server?


Simon Job on  27 July 09  at  11:40 AM #
Darcy, don't you have your own blog 😊 Your plan sounds good. It might be worth making a diagram of this that could be put up as a poster in classrooms. If you've ever had a look at how kids store files, anything is better than a filename of "yamum.doc".
Vic Gecas on  27 July 09  at  12:02 PM #
sorry but i can't work out if it is a high school or many rules! would i as a student have to stay on task if the teacher gives me a lame 'look things up and type things out' task...(i know when i go to pd or conf i don't!). the key to supervising any computing class is not network software to look at what they are doing, but the teacher being mobile and close to the students. but by far making the task meaninful and real world as possible. so i am just suggesting you back off the rules, and look at why the students aren't on task...and if you can't see, ask them...they will tell you... vic gecas international school dhaka (in 2 weeks time!)


Simon Job on  27 July 09  at  12:17 PM #
Vic, this is for high school students - students who will each receive a netbook as part of a state-wide roll-out. As to the type of work teacher's give - well, we plan to have a "teacher expectations" too that suggests "look things up and type things out" may not be appropriate. I agree that teachers need to be mobile and close to the students - in fact, in an all laptop classroom the teacher now really needs to shift their "position" to the back. "back off the rules, and look at why the students aren't on task" - good luck to you if you work in a school where an explicit expectation doesn't need to be "stay on task" - but it is essential at my school.
Darcy Moore on  27 July 09  at  12:33 PM #
Hmmm...I thought everything on their laptop actually and they should back it up. My smart colleague at work says: 'laptops are supposed to have a 2 gig partition that will sync/backup to the DIP server and the DIP server should backup offsite. If a student is issued with a new laptop the commission process should copy the contents of the partition to the new laptop from the DIP server. So this partition is the logical first place to save to, maybe backing up to a flash drive. There should also be a larger partition on the laptops that students could save onto, however, this would not be backed up. We really need to see the final laptop configuration to be sure.'


Simon Job on  27 July 09  at  12:43 PM #
That sounds right Darcy, so the students will still need to ensure that their work is in the 2G backed-up bit, and other assets, stuff they've downloaded, is in the regular space.
Vic Gecas on  27 July 09  at  02:11 PM #
“back off the rules, and look at why the students aren’t on task” – good luck to you if you work in a school where an explicit expectation doesn’t need to be “stay on task” – but it is essential at my school. nice one simon, ask darcy to get people to comment and then you read between the lines before reading the lines. we teach so many 'soft skills' that i wonder if you have ever asked these 'off task' or all of your students at the end of one of your courses: What do you really understand about... What questions/uncertainties do you still have about... What was most effective in ... What was least effective in... How could you improve... What would you do differently next time... What are you most proud of? What are you most disappointed in? How difficult was _________ for you? What are your strengths in... What are your deficiencies in... To what extent a has your performance improved over time? How does your preferred learning style influence.... What grade/score do you think you deserve? Why? How does what you've learned connect with other learning? How has what you've learned changed your thinking? How does what you've learned relate to the present and future? What follow-up work is needed? (Try it and do it without students adding their names as well!) See what you get. Teachers need to start where their students are, know where they are going, expect their students to get to their goal, support them on their way, use feedback to help them and their students get better and focus on quality rather than quanity. And never work harder than their students (Robyn R Jackson 2009) all pretty useless if the task is the usual 'look things up, type the out' which happens in most classrooms across oz. sorry, but there is not one rule posted in my classrooms...just constant reflection on what i am asking students to do and if it didn't happen to my expectations, reflection on a regular basis by both of us why it didn't happen... don't thnk things are any better here in the WA, many private schools are getting into 1:1 laptop programs only because their neigbouring schools (read competition here) are doing it, not because there is a ground swell from the bottom up, the teachers in the classroom... sigh...


Simon Job on  29 July 09  at  08:08 AM #
To clarify some things, I didn't specifically ask Darcy to retweet, but I'm glad he did. I'm not sure how I've read between the lines and not read the lines. To be clear, what's shown above is for school-wide implementation and not specific to my classroom. Part of the PBL system is to implement clear systems and reminders throughout the school - by being clear from the start, PBL endeavours (and does) reduce poor student behaviour/choices. This poster, a visual cue, is just part of the way we'll try to provide a structure and expectations to our students; students for a low socio-economic area, many with low expectations set at home, whose only real structure comes from school. It's essential that we are always communicating clearly our expectations, and this poster is an attempt to do that positively.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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