Tag Archives: computer on wheels

A COW or Computer on Wheels Transforms Learning

Computer on Wheels

Computer on Wheels: A mobile computer workstation can transform teaching and learning at your school.

Since we introduced a COW or Computer on Wheels at our school, education has improved. It has transformed teaching practice and enhanced student learning. If you are looking for an inexpensive technology tool that your entire staff can use then a COW is a great investment.

The COW Offers New Possibilities

The mobile computer workstation has encouraged both teachers and students to approach teaching and learning in new ways. Teachers have altered their teaching practice to include the use of digital resources. In addition, students complete assignments with the purpose to share their work with the class digitally using the COW. Today, most students at the school would never consider giving a presentation to the class without technology because for them it has become an integral part of their learning experience.

How do we Share the COW?

The COW is something every teacher wants to use in their classroom. To share this resource there is a sign-up sheet in the computer lab. A teacher can sign the COW out for a class period or the entire day. Before their scheduled time, the teacher or a group of students must roll the COW from its sleeping quarters (locked in the computer room office) and wheel it into the classroom, gym, library, or music room. When finished the equipment is carefully returned so that it is ready for the next person to use. At our school, the COW is used EVERY day! In fact, our teachers used it so much that we had to get two COWs.

COW Care Rules

Teachers, as well as students, know that having a COW is a privilege. For this reason, they need to show respect when using the equipment. When the COW is being rolled around care needs to be given to make sure the cart is not jostled or knocked. Typically, two students must push the cart with one at each end for stability. In addition, no liquids of any type are permitted around the equipment. With these basic rules in place we have had no issues keeping the equipment in good working order.

What Rules do you Have for your COW?

How is a COW shared at your school? What problems have you experienced? How did you solve any issues? Share your experiences!

A COW at School? Computer on Wheels are a Great Investment

A picture of a mobile computer cart.

Transform learning with a COW or Computer on Wheels. This mobile computer workstation allows teachers to integrate technology into curriculum.

It’s a computer! It’s a projector! No, it’s a COW!!

No, we are not a rural school that has brought livestock into the classroom. Nor have we adopted a barnyard pet. Instead, our school uses a COW or Computer on Wheels to integrate technology into curriculum.

Our school is fortunate enough to have two COWs. The primary grades had a contest a while ago and came up with names for our COWs. They are Bug and Matilda.

What is a COW?

A COW is a mobile computer workstation. On a wheeled cart is a laptop connected to a projector and speakers. When the laptop is turned on, the image on the computer screen is projected onto a blank wall or projector screen for others to see. The cart can easily be moved to any room in the school.

The cart has four shelves. On the top shelf sits the projector with its remote control firmly attached to the unit using Velcro. On the next shelf is the laptop. This shelf is moveable. To use the laptop the shelf slides out permitting the laptop lid to open making it easy to see the screen, type on the keyboard, and attach external devices. When not in use the laptop lid is closed and the shelf pushed back into the cart. Below the moveable shelf rest the speakers and below that another shelf that is useful for transporting additional materials.

The laptop has Wi-Fi and quickly connects to the school’s domain. When a teacher or student logs in they are able to see their user profile desktop, retrieve their files, print documents, and use the Internet. In addition, the laptop has several free USB slots and a DVD drive so that media prepared elsewhere can easily be accessed.

There is very little training required to use a COW. The teacher just has to plug in the power supply and turn the hardware on. That’s it! As long as there is a power outlet and a blank wall or projector screen, any teacher is ready to use the equipment in less than 5 minutes!

How do Teachers use the COW?

At our school, it did not take the teachers long to discover ways to enhance learning with the COW. When it was first introduced, the teachers already had an idea of how they wanted to use the technology. They were familiar with using a projector. In the computer lab there is a dedicated teacher computer with a projector that displays an image onto a blank white wall. It is used for almost every lesson in the computer lab. Teachers use it to share resources, model a set of instructions, demonstrate the steps to resolve a common issue, focus discussion, or view student work.

At our school the COW is used to:

  • showcase student work at Open Houses
  • inform prospective families about the school community
  • incorporate media into school assemblies and concerts
  • present reports at education meetings
  • share an educational video (load one file for all to see to avoid slowing the network down with too many users)
  • present student work
  • demonstrate a concept

Does your School Have a COW?

How is a COW used at your school? Share your experiences!