Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Russell, M., Bebell, D., & Higgins, J. (2004). Laptop learning: A comparison of teaching and learning in upper elementary classrooms equipped with shared carts of laptops and permanent 1: 1 laptops. Journal of Educational Computing Research30(4), 313-330. Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative, Boston College.

This study compares teaching and learning activities in 4th and 5th grade classrooms that were permanently equipped with one laptop for each student and classrooms that share a cart of laptops that create a 1:1 laptop environment on a temporary basis. The study originated from a question posed to us by Andover Public Schools (MA): “How does teaching and learning differ when upper elementary students (4th and 5th graders) are provided with their own laptop computers?” In response to this question, we undertook an intensive two month study that employed a mixed methodology that included student surveys, student drawings, teacher interviews, and 56 structured classroom observations. The findings summarized in this article provide evidence of several differences in teaching and learning activities between the two settings. Classrooms that were fully equipped with 1:1 laptops showed more technology use across the curriculum, more use of technology at home for academic purposes, less large group instruction, and nearly universal use of technology for writing.

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