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Eastern Townships School Board: Benefits and Challenges

Date: 2011
Author: Thierry Karsenti, Simon Collin
Affiliation: Université de Montreal, Université de Québec a Montréal
Keywords: Teaching, Learning, High School, Elementary


For the researchers, the Eastern Townships School Board appeared to provide a highly favourable setting for a study on the benefits and challenges of using laptops in primary and secondary school. In fact, when the 5,600 laptops were distributed to the great majority of the students, the school board advanced from 66th position in the province (out of 70 school boards) in 2003 to 23rd in 2010, a remarkable improvement. It was therefore particularly relevant to seek a deeper understanding of the role of the laptops in the significant improvements made on the examinations set by the ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (Quebec's department of education, recreation and sport).

This preliminary report presents the results of a study conducted from April 2010 to January 2011. After the introduction (Section 1), the research objective is presented (Section 2), followed by the methodology section (participants, measuring instruments, etc.; Section 3), and the results grouped under four distinct themes (Section 4): access and equipment, uses, skills, and impacts. The conclusion (Section 5), including a number of recommendations, closes this preliminary research report.

The main results of this preliminary analysis are presented under four themes: participants' access to equipment and technology; pedagogical uses of laptops' technology skills that have been or should be developed; and the impacts of laptops on teaching and learning. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses are presented together and in complementarity to respond to the research objectives.

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