Friday, August 6, 2010

The Net Book Decision

I have never purchased a non-Apple computer product. There, I said it. I'm one of those people. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just feel a little under qualified to select two net books for my class. I want students to be able to curl up in a comfy chair on my stage and blog/tweet about the day's events. I have heard tons if great suggestions from people I trust. Thanks to everyone that responded to my Tweets. What I really want is to hear from Dell, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus

I feel this is what social media is supposed to do. I'm going to reach out to these companies on Twitter and see who can give me the best sales pitch. Twitter provides such a great forum for different companies, big or small, to reach out to a customer that has specific questions. If computer companies cannot sell me on their technology through technology, then I shouldn't buy their product. I'm going to need to make the same pitch to my school when they ask me why I chose the net book I chose. Why not use the same pitch that worked on me?  I'll tweet out the link to the post and see who, if anyone, responds to me. I'm hoping to get a ton of great responses from the various companies. I've followed all of the companies I'm tweeting, so if you are one of them, follow me and send me a DM. I would love to talk to you!

Net Book Needs

Price Range: $250 - $350
Wireless Internet Connectivity
Webcam for Skype

Those are my 3 criteria for the two net books. Students will be using them to keep running blogs of class and sending tweets about class topics. I need a light weight net book kids can easily pass around the class if needed. I hope you have products that meet my needs. These net books will allow my students to interact daily with the students of Van Meter, Iowa. We have some amazing projects in the works and I can't wait to share them with everyone once the school year gets started. I will be continuously blogging about my Blogger's Cafe and I hope to present this project at the MACUL and ISTE conferences in 2011. I feel this idea has a chance to connect students, teachers and administrators to others all over the world. Like most things, it only starts with one person with a passion.

Furniture Needs

The next part of my post is dedicated to the layout of the Blogger's Cafe. I want to create very comfortable space for students. I want students to want to be at the Cafe working every day and after school. I'm not an overall fan of the type of furniture that students are asked to sit in and work as it is, so anything comfortable would be a huge upgrade. I'm thinking about comfy chairs that students can relax in and use the net book. Lap top trays might be nice so students can keep the net book stead as the work in the chair. I'm not against a some desk and chair combos if they are comfortable. Student comfort is of the utmost importance to me.

Here is the stage in my room.

I would like two areas for two students to sit comfortably and blog/Skype/Tweet during class. Desks and chairs are all that I need. Do you have any suggestions? This is straight out of my pocket, so please keep that in mind when you make your suggestions. If you think you have some ideas, please feel free to post a comment or follow me @TheNerdyTeacher and send me a DM.

Art in The Blogger's Cafe

I have a couple of students that are eager to get their paintbrushes on the back wall. They have some cool ideas that involve authors using text tools. Example: Mark Twain with an iPod or EA Poe with a Kindle. I really want the kids to take ownership of the space. Maybe parts of the wall can only be painted after units are covered and the art needs to incorporate the unit objectives or goals. Hmmmmm. I'm thinking out loud here. Well, typing quietly and thinking in my head. ;-) I'll keep you posted on this one.

Thanks Everyone!

I have received tons of support and many kind words about my Blogger's Cafe idea and want to thank everyone who did. I would never have built up the courage or motivation to do something so radically different at my school without your support. I promise to keep everyone up to date one the process once it gets started. You are all as much a part of this as I am. Thanks again and I hope to read some of your ideas in the comment box.

- @TheNerdyTeacher