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New Research on Technology and Education
Author: Justina Spencer, AALF | September 2nd, 2014

We have recently added some interesting new research studies to our Online Research Database. Here is the latest!

Balancing the One-to-One Equation: Equity and Access in Three Laptop Programs (2014)


Seeking to improve teaching and learning and to narrow gaps between students of high and low socioeconomic status, many school districts in the United States are implementing one-to-one laptop programs. In this comparative case study, we examine one-to-one laptop programs in Colorado, California, and Alabama, all of which deployed low-cost netbook computers and open source software with the aim of enhancing digital participation and increasing educational equity. In spite of overlapping goals, the projects had very different outcomes. We analyze the roots and implications of these differences.

For the Love of Laptops: As Learning Tools, Tablets Don't Cut It (2014)


While some educators are excited to use computers to teach what we've always wanted kids to know, my work has been guided by a desire to help kids learn and do in ways and in knowledge domains that were otherwise inaccessible. Computing, the act of using a computer to make things--programs, novels, art, video, robots--is the game changer. From the beginning, there was an inevitability to one-to-one computing. It's sad that we are still debating the merits of such student empowerment two decades later. There is much to admire about the iPad (and its imitators). I love mine. I watch TV on it. It's light and small, and it has great battery life. In a classroom, the iPad's profile ensures eye contact with the teacher, if that's important to you. My 96-year-old grandmother uses an iPad without any district-funded PD. The iPad is a heckuva computer. Too bad Apple prohibits computing on the iPad.

Turkey's FATIH project: A Plan to Conquer the Digital Divide or a Technological Leap of Faith? (2013)


Turkey is embarking on one of the world's largest educational technology projects: putting tablet computers in the hands of every student from grade 5 to 12, and interactive whiteboards in every classroom. Though massive in its planned scope, the goals and approach of Turkey's FATIH Project (The Movement to Enhance Opportunities and Improve Technology) are little understood. The objective of this brief is to analyze FATIH through the lens of ongoing and previous international, large-scale ICT in education experiences, and to use those experiences to suggest ways in which this important investment in educational technology can lead to the best possible learning outcomes for all students in Turkey.

Benefits and Challenges of Using Laptops in Elementary and Secondary School: Results of the Second Investigation at the Eastern Townships School Board (2012)


This second investigation of teachers and students at the Eastern Townships School Board had eight research objectives. It aimed to determine, according to the perceptions of the teachers and students, the impacts of information and communication technologies (ICT) on students': (1) writing skills, (2) creativity, (3)communication and cooperation, (4) effective work methods, and (5) capacity to exercise critical judgment. Another aim was to identify the main (6) benefits and (7) challenges of regular use of technologies in the classroom, as well as (8) the equipment and access available to teachers and students at the school board. In all, 2,712 students (from grades 3 to 11) and 389 teachers participated in this questionnaire survey. The results reveal that ICT have had a major impact on the students, particularly in their skills and competencies (writing, creativity, work methods, communication and cooperation, critical judgment, etc.). The results also highlight how the teachers in this school board have succeeded, through their pedagogical strategies and other teaching activities, in giving technology a central role in the writing process. Technologies have enabled both teachers and students to write better, more, and with more inspiration. Besides the substantial impacts on writing, the results also show the main benefits of using technologies in the classroom, as underscored by the teachers and students: academic motivation, access to extensive information, a wide variety of available resources, the potential for individualized learning, and greater feelings of competence, to name only a few. The integration of ICT into education comes with certain problems, however. The two biggest challenges for teachers and students were the equipment and classroom manage

Bring Your Own Device to School: Briefing Paper (2012)


1-to-1 learning programs have been evolving over the past two decades. While some have amounted to little more than replacing pencil cases with laptops, properly structured, they can deliver strong benefits and redefine learning. These gains should be used to benchmark today's Bring Your Own Device environments.

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