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2005 Learning With Technology: The Impact of Laptop Use on Student Achievement

Date: 2005
Author: James Cengiz Gulek & Hakan Demirtas
Keywords: achievement, laptops


Harvest Park Middle School, located in Pleasanton Unified School District in Pleasanton, California, established its Laptop Immersion Program in 2001.A highly educated, high-income community has developed in the midst of what not too long ago were acres of fruit orchards and cattle fields on the edge of Alameda County. As a school experiencing rapid growth over a short period of time, the challenge of Harvest Park was to maintain the same high level of academic excellence, while building an infrastructure that would meet the demands of its student population. Harvest Park's laptop program emerged out of a partnership between the offerings of the high-tech businesses in the community and schools' search for innovative programs.The study presented here examined the impact of participation in a laptop program on student achievement. A total of 259 middle school students were followed via cohorts.

Research Questions:

* Does the laptop program have an impact on students' grade point average?

* Does the laptop program have an impact on students' end-of-course grades?

* Does the laptop program have an impact on students' essay writing skills?

* Does the laptop program have an impact on students' standardized test scores?

Key Findings:

The baseline data for all measures showed that there was no statistically significant difference in English language arts, mathematics, writing, and overall grade point average achievement between laptop and non-laptop students prior to enrollment in the program. However, laptop students showed significantly higher achievement in nearly all measures after one year in the program.

Possible limitations of study:

One limitation that might have a confounding effect on student achievement in this study is the teacher assignment into the Laptop Pro-gram. Participating teachers volunteer for the program. As with most field-based research in education, in the absence of random assignment into the program, the differences in student performance may be partly because of differences in teachers volunteering for this program.

Source Article: http://aalf.org/Resources/The%20Journal%20of%20Technology,%20Learning,%20and%20Assessment%20-%20Volume%203,%20Number%202,%20January%202005