The TES knows there are good reasons why teachers, more than other professionals, need their own computers. Lesson preparation, research and pupil assessment are only part of the story. Teachers need enough hands-on time with a computer to be able to do what their pupils can do, and to understand the ways in which technology can transform learning.
Professor Stephen Heppell, a senior adviser on information and communications technology to the Department for Education, believes teachers need the private use of computers to build confidence. "Without that confidence teachers are less ambitious for the tasks and challenges that they set for their wired students," he wrote in The TES.
We have chosen the iBook for our readers, because, as TES Online editor Merlin John says: "It's one of the best laptops on the market. It's excellent, ideal for teachers."
Editor of www.tes.co.uk, Bill Hicks, reviews the iBook in Online magazine, free in this week's TES. He gives it a five-star rating for ease of use and features, andfour stars for design and suitability for purpose. He praises the screen quality, and says: "To me it seemed lightning fast on all applications."
We think the iBook is ideal for novices as well as more experienced computer users. We've made it even more versatile by loading each of the 101 iBooks with Virtual PC and Microsoft Office 2001 - enabling users to run Windows programmes and software such as Encarta 2001 as well as Apple software. Built-in software means you can be surfing the net and sending emails for the first time in under ten minutes. More advanced users will appreciate its versatility and extra memory option.
Too many laptops are too bulky and heavy for comfortable use on the move. The iBook is roughly A4 size, just 2.3cm deep, and weighs 2.2kg. Battery life, when fully charged, is up to five hours. Its unusual good looks (white and silver, with a luminously glowing Apple logo on the lid) make it a pleasure to use, too.
Teachers who have bought equipment under the Government's Computers for Teachers scheme enthuse about the speed with which they can prepare lessons. Louise Neve, a primary teacher from Hampshire, wrote: "I have benefited enormously from my laptop which has enabled me to plan and prepare lessons fast and efficiently."
So what are you waiting for? Start collecting tokens today - and encourage your workmates to do the same.