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1997 Report of a Laptop Program Pilot

Date: June, 1997
Author(s): Saul Rockman and Laura Walker
Affiliation: Rockman et. al
Keywords: ubiquitous, pedagogy, instruction, evaluation


Rockman et al undertook three evaluation studies of the introduction of ubiquitous laptop computing to U.S. public and independent schools over the period 1996-1999. These definitional studies included typologies of implementation strategies, innovative methods to assess classroom and home use, studies of problem solving skills, analyses of changes in pedagogy and teacher and student attitudes, and established benchmarks for a range of variables.

The pilot laptop program, sponsored jointly by Microsoft Corporation and Toshiba America, seeks to facilitate "anytime, anywhere" learning by helping schools acquire laptop computers and Microsoft Office software tools for every student. The pilot year implementation involved 26 sites, including both private schools and public school districts, for a total of 53 elementary, middle, and high schools. Participants ranged from schools with no previous computer experience to some of the most technologically advanced schools in the countryexperience to some of the most technologically advanced schools in the country.

Key Findings:

The experience of the pilot year participants yielded important information for schools and districts wanting to begin a laptop program. Schools planning to initiate or expand the laptop program need to consider:

* Establishing support at the school site and in the community

* Capitalizing on membership in a unique program

* Allowing sufficient time for integrating the new capabilities into the curriculum

* Growing the program in schools with limited technology access and experience

* Setting appropriate priorities for professional development

* Managing the amount of technology and solving technology problems

* Providing a means through which teachers can share successful lessons with others

* Providing sufficient opportunity to experiment with new instructional approaches

* Maintaining support from site and community leaders

* Establishing new and continuing assessment and evaluation strategies.

Source Article: http://www.microsoft.com/education/download/aal/resrch_1.rtf