Laptops for all students: Year one evaluation of a laptop initiative in career and technical high school education
Larysa N. Nadolny, University of Delaware, United States
University of Delaware . Awarded
This evaluation investigated the implementation and outcomes of a one-to-one laptop program initiative in a career and technical high school, where the majority of students experienced academic challenges. Data for the evaluation were collected through mixed methods, including surveys, interviews and observations, thereby adding validity to the results. Findings indicated that teachers and students became more comfortable with a range of computer and Internet skills. This finding is important given the prevalence of technology in the workplace and college education. Findings also indicated that most teachers and students used computers extensively for a range of tasks. The majority of those tasks concentrated on uses that reinforced traditional instructional practices, such as word processing, drill and practice, and research on the Internet. Several teachers, however, were able to move beyond traditional uses of technology and implement computers for more complex and sophisticated activities. Such activities included using laptops for written expression, communication through blogs, and preparation of multimedia presentations. These findings are consistent with prior research on one-to-one initiatives which indicate that in the initial stages teachers often struggle to adapt their teaching and effectively utilize laptop computers within a studentcentered pedagogy.
Executive Position Paper one examines the literature on laptop initiatives in education as well as the role of technology in assisting students with learning disabilities. The framework for the evaluation and implementation of the initiative is also discussed in detail. Paper two reviews the methods of data collection and findings of the evaluation. In the third and final paper, the findings are discussed and presented with recommendations for future planning.
Nadolny, L.N. Laptops for all students: Year one evaluation of a laptop initiative in career and technical high school education. Ph.D. thesis, University of Delaware.
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Phillip Alexander Towndrow & Fareed Wan, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 20, No. 3 (July 2012) pp. 331–355
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