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Mott Hall
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School Reports & Videos > The Mott Hall School
The Mott Hall School: A Laptop Pioneer

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Case Overview
The Mott Hall School is a science, math, and technology magnet school in an impoverished area of New York City. During the 2000-2001 school year when this study was conducted, the school had 425 primarily Hispanic students in grades four through eight, nearly 80 percent of who qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. All of the schoolís students had laptop computers on a 24 hour, 7-day-a-week basis, which they used throughout the curriculum to support accessing information, and creating products that demonstrated what they had learned about topics under study.

The school began its laptop program in 1996 as a one-classroom pilot in grade five; its success led them to expand the program by grade level increments over a four year time period. The district helped to establish the lease or buy options and a repair process but the school staff members coordinated the curriculum in the computer and content area classes, extended network access to some classrooms, and provided professional development for teachers on the operation of computers and their integration, with some emphasis on project-based and a constructivist model of learning.

The laptops were also an important educational resource in the studentsí homes. While computers are not used everyday in every class in school, students were nearly always expected to prepare their homework assignments on the computer. School leaders recognized that this laptop was usually the only computer available in most studentsí homes, and offered educational opportunities to parents about its use.

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