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2007 DMI-ELS ETSB Laptop Research Project: Report on the Grade Three Students

Date: 2007
Author: Robert M. Bernard, Edward Bethel, Philip C. Abrami, C. Anne Wade
Affiliation: Concordia University
Keywords: laptops, evaluation, education


This report summarizes the results of a yearlong effort to integrate laptop computers among all the students and teachers in grade three of the Eastern Townships School Board.The purpose of this study, one phase of a multi-year project, was to explore changes in teaching and student learning resulting from the Denis McCullough Initiative - Enhanced Learning Strategy (DMI-ELS) at the schools of the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB). Spread over a three-year period, DMI-ELS involves providing every ETSB student from elementary Cycle Two (Grades Three and Four) to Secondary Five (final year of high school) with a laptop computer. Three schools piloted the initiative in May 2003 and in October 2003, in the first wave of implementation; computers were distributed to Cycle Three students in the board's twenty elementary schools and Secondary Five students in the three high schools. The remaining computer-- about 5000 --were deployed subsequently. The goals of DMI-ELS were to increase student achievement, to empower personnel, and to promote excellence throughout the learning community.

Key Findings:

* There was overall improvement (change) from Grade 2 to Grade 3 on all three sub-tests of the CAT-3. The greatest change was in math and the least was in reading.

* The teachers' use of technology was moderate to low. Communicative uses (e.g. email) were relatively high and instructional uses were relatively low.

* The study found that teachers wanted more professional development, especially in order to use technology for more student-centered purposes.

* The study mentions that in general, the more technology was used, especially for administrative and traditional purposes, the lower student learning. This is not to downplay the importance of non-instructional computer usage; it is just that if these uses predominate over instructional uses, there is little chance of a positive effect on student learning.

* Overall, there was a tendency for the ETSB students to close the gap in achievement over the years of the study (with the exception of reading).

Source Article: http://www.etsb.qc.ca/en/EnhancedLearningStrategy/Results/Concordia_2007_04.pdf