Deriving the Power of Thinkpads

The East Brunswick 1:1 Initiative has expanded the potential of classroom activities and engaged students in an online interactive community. Classes like Calculus Honors are now feeling the full effects, and it’s arguably for the better. Explore this new initiative with Andrew Yuen as he finds out what the hype is all about.


Andrew Yuen

A student completes the daily activity on his new Lenovo Thinkpad

Andrew Yuen, Bear Hub Staff

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Calculus teacher Cheryl Canonaco tells students. “I want you to take risks and be confident this year.”  Canonaco takes a unique hands-on approach, with students finding solutions through interactive group activities. To introduce Calculus, she created an activity where students get into groups of three and work together to complete a worksheet that requires problem-solving and teamwork. This idea of collaboration and innovative thinking is a large part of the East Brunswick curriculum. Furthering this “innovation” are the new Lenovo laptops, which integrate technology as a crucial part of classes such as Calculus.

As of this year, the school district has launched the EB 1:1 Initiative that champions technology as a crucial part of the learning process. This involves giving Lenovo laptops to all high school students grades 10-12 and switching to a new classroom platform called Canvas. So far, this new initiative has had a monumental change in classes like Calculus Honors. Canonaco, at first apprehensive of this new idea, has said “This new piece of technology is surprisingly useful in the classroom, especially when we’re doing activities.” Many other teachers have made similar remarks and are grateful for its utility both in the classroom and at home.

Senior Emily Botros says she likes the new computers “because they make it so much easier to learn. ” For instance, Canonaco puts the daily activity and homework on Canvas, giving students the opportunity to better organize their work without the clutter of paper.

“With my laptop, I feel more comfortable taking risks in classes like Calculus,” Senior Joy Elasmar says, “and I can easily work with my classmates on worksheets that Ms. Canonaco assigns.” Echoing these sentiments, many students feel that they can more easily focus on their work in larger groups. As a future-ready school, EBHS has made significant changes to classes like Calculus Honors where students are now better equipped to learn.