I’m certainly glad that I follow Chris Smith from Shambles on Twitter because I recently found the New South Wales (NSW) One-to-One Computers in Schools 2010 Literature Review through him. The timing was perfect because our school community is ready to look at research on the topic. The review focuses on Student Achievement, Professional Learning and Laptop Pedagogy, Leadership and Technology Integration, Technical problems and support, and Computers at home. I don’t want to ruin this excellent learning experience for you, but they identified the key implications as,
One-to-one laptop programs can bring about improvements to student learning
Improvements in student achievement are related to laptop use
Professional learning is essential for successful integration
A shift from a focus on technology proficiency to laptop pedagogy needs to take place
Teacher pedagogical beliefs largely determine the degree and type of integration that occurs in the classroom
Professional learning must include processes by which teachers regularly discuss their pedagogical and educational values
Teachers need time for discussion and the sharing of ideas/resources
Leadership is crucial for successful integration
School leaders must build a shared vision, keep the focus on that vision, lead the planning, provide time for collaboration and discussion and provide appropriate and timely professional learning for teachers
Leaders must foster a collaborative and supportive school culture
Distributed leadership and a whole school approach are most effective
Sufficient technology support is crucial for the success of a one-to-one laptop program
Technology support needs do not diminish as the program matures
As a principal who promotes new models of teaching and learning with technology I frequently get asked, “How do you know that the use of technology helps students learn? Can you show me research?” I have a variety of answers and I can provide them with several research studies showing positive results. But, recently, someone shared this research report with me and I am trying to figure out how to react and respond. How would you respond to these findings?
The study took 3 groups of community college students who were taking College Algebra and put them into three different classes.
“Both online and televised variations of College Algebra were created and offered. Web support pages for on-campus sections were created and filled with thirty hours of streaming real-media and mimeo lectures, practice tests for each chapter, and quizzes for each section of the text. A course guide containing more than one hundred pages of worked examples, study tips, and additional support was written, and has been sold as a supplement to the course. Supplemental instruction and peer tutoring programs have been implemented to support College Algebra. Additionally, the math department established experimental sections of College Algebra that would abandon the text and internally developed support materials for the course in favor of a computer-aided instruction (CAI) model.”
The students in the traditional lecture class outperformed their peers in both the computer aided instruction (CAI) model and the online and television model. This is even after they controlling for differences in teacher grading. The articles finishes with the following statement.
“These results have implications for the way institutions schedule and deliver curriculum. CAI courses are held in computer labs which cap the number of students in a class. Traditional lecture courses are able to serve more students. Not only do students perform better in a traditional lecture course, as measured by final grade, but institutions of higher education can deliver instruction more efficiently on a per student cost using traditional lecture.”
Help! I need to better understand how to respond to these types of studies.
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.
1. Teachers increased use of technology for both planning and
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.
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.