• Introducing laptops to children: An examination of ubiquitous computing in Grade 3 reading, language, and mathematics

    • Negative correlations were found in reading achievement gain for items associated with the higher use of communicative, evaluative, and creative uses of computers. Open-ended teacher responses indicated the need for more professional support for instructional implementations of computing.
    • The arguments of detractors range from the cost of technology to the lack of incontrovertible research evidence that technology integration leads to better learning and enhanced motivation to achieve (including staying in school). While not new, particularly in postsecondary education, so-called ubiquitous technology integration places a computer in the hands of every student for use at school and at home, on which much of their schoolwork is conducted.
    • One-to-one computer implementations that provide students with Internet access and laptop computers for use at school and home are increasing in number. Decreasing hardware costs, increased portability, and availability of wireless networking all contribute to making broad implementations feasible (Penuel, 2006). In two separate research syntheses, Penuel reports that not only does research lag behind such rapid expansion, but few of the research studies that have been done analyze implementation outcomes in a rigorous manner.
    • mplementation goals included increasing technology use, increasing technology literacy, improving quality of teaching and learning, reducing dropout rates/improving attendance, improving motivation and behaviour, and improving academic achievement.
    • technology use in one-to-one classrooms declined in use patterns compared to classrooms with shared computers, suggesting that novelty accounts for at least some of the increase in technology use. Moreover, both these studies stress the importance of pedagogy that utilizes the unique contributions of the new technology
    • Students quickly become frustrated when new technologies are forced into the same old pedagogy.
    • as with technology use, motivational increases may be due to novelty effects. Closely related to both technology use and motivation, 15 studies (60%) reported increases in positive attitudes toward technology.
    • one-to-one initiatives have consistently resulted in increased technology use, student motivation, and positive attitudes toward technology.
    • measured increases in technological literacy, while three report perceived increases. Though the number of studies reporting these increases is smaller, given the numbers reporting increased use of technology, it is unsurprising to find corresponding increases in technological literacy.
    • the success of any educational innovation is more often than not evaluated in terms of student achievement gains, usually measured by standardized testing. As far as one-to-one initiatives are concerned, the results are not straightforward.
    • studies report no significant difference either between one-to-one and non one-to-one groups or between achievement before and after one-to-one implementations.
    • differences in Language Arts and Writing remained statistically significant
    • substantial increases in writing and critical thinking achievement in their evaluation of a one-to-one technology integration
    • The six research syntheses reviewed echo the findings described above: they report consistent findings of increases in technology use and technology literacy, while reporting little evidence of a “technology effect” on student achievement. The syntheses report several factors contributing to the success of any one-to-one implementation: teacher beliefs, teacher training, technical support, comprehensive curriculum review that meaningfully integrates technology, and change management strategies. Most importantly, though, the syntheses emphasize the need for more research into one-to-one implementations to tease out exactly how, when, and under what conditions they are the most effective.
    • Taken together, available evidence of ubiquitous technology integration is consistent—laptop initiatives have shown improvements in technology integration, use and proficiency; attitudes towards technology and the promise of technology for learning; and to some extent increased engagement and motivation. What seems clear, however, is that research does not support the premise that one-to-one initiatives automatically lead to increased student achievement.
    • Technology seems to be suited to affecting improvements in some areas and with some students more than with others. Moreover, as the results reported in Lowther et al. (2003) seem to suggest, the best results are obtained when one-to-one computing is one part of a well-planned technological integration strategy that includes specific guidelines and training in pedagogically sound uses of computers in the classroom.
    • In terms of contribution to the literature, the question of whether laptop programs can influence achievement in traditional content areas remains open. Our study did not establish any direct correspondence in this domain. The only really positive conclusion that can be strongly asserted is that the laptop program “did no harm” in the first year of its implementation with this Grade 2-3 cohort. It remains to be seen what effects might be achieved in subsequent years.
    • the actual effect of technology use particularly on the development of reading skills and comprehension remains speculative at best. More importantly, the data do provide some suggestions as to the type of technology use that may warrant further investigation.
    • It is inappropriate to conclude these findings would hold for older students and their teachers or when students are more familiar with technology as a tool for learning.
    • It is conceivable that technology applications that increase active engagement with reading, writing, and mathematics may eventually provide efficiencies in instruction that are equivalent to the efficiencies in administration that are so well documented.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advertisements