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Laptop Grant FAQs

Page history last edited by Ryan Croke 15 years, 5 months ago





Elementary School Classroom Laptop Grant



And the Asus Eee              There's the "One Laptop Per Child" XO              The Intel Classmate


Once the kids get the laptops, do the they own them for life? Who keeps the laptops when the school year ends?

This grant program empowers teachers to decide whether to make the computers property of their students or property of their classrooms.


Does the laptop project include special education classrooms or only K-6 general education classrooms?

All K-6 classrooms, including special education classrooms, are eligible to apply for the laptop grant.


How will teachers learn how to use their laptops?

Grant funding can be used to hire professionals to train participating teachers. No teacher should or will have to feel unprepared to help their students make good use of their laptops.


Regional Technology Centers

The State of Illinois has network specialists strategically located throughout the

state to provide school network support services. For more info, please go to



Learning Technology Centers

The State of Illinois has technical staff that can provide professional development to teachers.

They offer workshops throughout the year for school staff members interested in technology

and learning.


The Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA)

The Center for the Advancement and Renewal of Learning and Teaching in

Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Illinois Mathematics and Science

Academy® (The Center @ IMSA) serves teachers and school systems through

professional development programs, and provides mathematics and science

enrichment programs for Illinois students.

For more info, please contact www.imsa.edu or 630.907.5000.


The Illinois State Board of Education offers school districts professional development training through its existing programs. Schools can request the topics they would like provided to their teachers.

            For more info, please contact: Faith Bishop, 217.557.7323, fbishop@isbe.net.


How will schools get good educational content on all these laptops?

Educational content is growing exponentially -- and literally by the second -- on the world wide web. Libraries and teachers are some of our best resources for helping students navigate the overwhelming volume of content online. Wonderful sources of online content for Illinois elementary students include:


A wealth of free and open source educational programs are now available. They include:


How will schools get technical support for all these laptops?

All of the low-cost laptop manufacturers offer technical support and will be expected to provide all of our participating schools with the highest quality assistance available.


What kind of manufacturer sells computers for less than 400 bucks?

More than 20 computers are now available for under $400. See the Low-Cost Laptop List.


Won't giving away all of these laptop kids make them more vulnerable to online predators? How will we control how these computers are used at student homes? How will we prevent them from the online scourges of gambling and pornography?

“...there are dangers [online]... The Internet is just another place where, as always, common sense and a level head are the best safeguards.”

Like any learning tool, laptops can be misused. Parents, teachers and administrators will have the important job of helping kids make responsible decisions. This video provides just the kind of clear guidance we'll need to protect kids in the age of the Internet:


Won't the laptops get broken a lot?

Not if Illinois' existing laptop program is any guide. The vast majority of students who receive laptops provide them with great care and protection.



Does "secure a 1:1 match for any grant award" mean the applicant has to purchase one computer for each one provided by the grant?

No. The 1:1 match means that winning schools are responsible for half the cost of the laptop project, but your school is not required to purchase one computer for every computer supplied by the grant.


For example, assume you need $6,000 for your classroom laptop project -- $4,000 for computers and $2,000 for teacher training and software.


You could request up to a $3,000 grant, use all of that for the laptops, and then rely on your school for a portion of the laptops, plus training and software.


How will schools protect all these laptops from theft?

Even among struggling schools, theft has not been a serious problem in the existing Illinois laptop program. Of the roughly 5,000 distributed, less than a dozen laptop thefts have been reported.


Why laptops?

  • Laptops uniquely encourage...
    • fundamentals (reading, writing, math, science, etc.).
    • tech literacy ("21st century skills").
  • creativity and expression. They represent new outlets where art, music, and new ideas come to life).
    • learning outside the classroom walls.


Why (elementary school) children?

  • In a technology-rich world, we should not wait for high school to make our kids confident, competent computer users.
  • Training kids in responsible computer and internet use early on can deter misuse later in life.


Why low-cost?

  • Sub-$400 machines are equally as powerful for fundamental skills and computer literacy training as any $1,000+ machine.
    • We don't need to spend $500 or more per unit to give kids the chance to become computer savvy.
    • Children—especially young children—do not need to learn how to use really expensive software. Giving them an early start with low-cost laptops will make it easy for them to one day, if necessary, master really expensive equipment and software.
  • The bottom line is: in a world where money for education is limited, a low-cost mandate ensures that more children will benefit.





Comments (1)

Answer Blip said

at 1:25 pm on Mar 10, 2010

we have had a bunch of laptop repair questions asked and need help getting the answers. If you can help out in any way it would be appreciated.


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