Good News from The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

Cross posted on 1 to 1 Schools.net.

I frequently hear negative press regarding laptop initiatives and it seems like the positive stuff is quietly released. Jeni Corn and Phil Emer from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation recently reported preliminary findings from their evaluation of NC 1:1 Learning Collaborative to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. I’m pleased to say that they have positive results to report. I’m fortunate to be able to visit several of these schools this month and I look forward to observing classes and hearing the stories of the leaders, teachers and students.

Instructional Practice

1. Teachers increased use of technology for both planning and
instruction.
2. Teachers and students reported ready Internet access
increased the frequency, reliability, and quality of communication
across the school.
3. Teachers moved from assigning independent work to
collaborative, project-based lessons.
4. Teachers shifted to technology-enhanced modes of assessment.

Student Performance

1. Attendance was above 92% in all 1:1 schools and remained virtually unchanged over the three-year period.
2. Dropout rate across the 1:1 Cohort A schools decreased, on average, between 1% and 2%.
3. Student engagement increased in the 1:1 learning environment.
4. Students’ 21st century learning skills increased in the 1:1 learning environment.
5. Student standardized test scores do not improve rapidly , but evidence from other states has found increases over longer implementation periods.

They also offer a list of lessons learned that should be considered when implementing a 1:1 laptop initiative.

NCLTI Lessons Learned

1. At least six months is required for planning and preparation.
2. Consistent, supportive, distributed leadership promotes adoption and buy-in from teachers and students for the 1:1 learning innovation.
3. Ongoing content-based professional development is imperative.
4. Technology Facilitators play a significant role.
5. Student safety and acceptable use must be addressed without limiting access in ways that interfere with educational uses.
6. Classroom management strategies and tools need improvement.
7. More effective approaches to technology infrastructure and support are needed.

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