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2000 A More Complex Picture: Laptop Use and Impact in the Context of Changing Home and School Access

Date: 2000
Author: Saul Rockman, Melissa Chessler and Laura Walker
Affiliation: Rockman et. al
Keywords: testing, collaboration, confidence, constructivist


During the third year of the Laptop Program, ROCKMAN ET AL continued to examine impacts on teaching and learning within laptop classrooms, and especially the ways in which laptops might be supporting a more constructivist pedagogy. ROCKMAN ET AL was also asked to focus on the possible impact of students' full-time laptop access on standardized test scores.

Key Findings:

Changes in Student Learning

* Laptop students are better writers

* Students report that computers allow them to write better and do more extensive editing

* Laptops encourage collaboration among students.

*Laptop students are more confident in their computer skills

* 80 percent of teachers report that since introducing laptops in their classrooms students more often explore topics on their own and work on long projects

* Students report that using computers increases pride in their work, allows them to turn in better projects, motivates them to work longer and harder, enables research, helps organize work and develop skills needed in college or the workforce

Changes in Teaching Practices

* Laptops are a catalyst for teachers to use more constructivist teaching

* Laptop teachers showed statistically significant change toward teaching practices that put students at the center of learning, use discussion rather than lecture, encourage student-led inquiry and emphasize thinking skills

* Laptop teachers feel more empowered in their classrooms

* Laptop teachers have a greater sense of control over their classroom instruction and management of student learning

* Laptop teachers use computers far more often in a wider variety of learning activities than non-laptop peers

* Laptop teachers also have greater confidence in using technology tools

* Standardized Test Scores

* Gathering test scores for students was a major hurdle

* In some cases, laptop students' scores were higher, but differences often were not statistically significant. Standardized tests for the most part were not designed to reflect the types of learning that laptops support.

* In most cases, laptop students had had their computers less than two years. It is not surprising that results from were inconclusive.

Source Article:http://www.microsoft.com/education/AALResearch3.mspx