This is an amazing post for how to make your few resources go further in your classroom. What a wonderful lens for learning:
I love the way you are looking at constraints as an asset here, and I really think that they are in your very capable hands. Your ability to challenge just what is possible with 6 laptops makes it seem as though there really are NO EXCUSES for not connecting your classroom.
I’m also very intrigued by this notion that fewer laptops/devices means more collaboration. I think that many of us seemingly are searching for the 1:1 device ratio without questioning just how valuable it is to do things together on a machine. I also think there is a real opportunity for not only different roles as you have outlined here, but also for mentorship from one student to the next as they walk each other through their thinking.
One of the things I struggle with most in much of our movement toward personalized learning is in the isolating nature of a truly personalized education (i.e., if it is unique to me, then how can anyone else possibly take part). I think that you are reaching for the balance that allows for students to make choices about their learning but in the context of the community of learners within the classroom. I wonder how you would frame your “differentiation” in opposition (or perhaps support of) personalization for learning?