Victoria Kravchyna

February 17, 2001

Reference: Rockman et al "A More Complex Picture: Laptop Use and Impact in the Context of Changing Home and School Access" The third in a series of research studies on Microsoft's Anytime Anywhere Learning Program, 2000.

http://rockman.com/projects/laptop/laptop3exec.htm#top

Three years research has been conducting an evaluation of Microsoft's Anytime, Anywhere Learning Program. Each student acquired a laptop computer loaded with Microsoft Office software. Teachers received training on how to integrate technology into the classroom. Research on the first year experiences of the pioneer schools focused on the many challenges and successes of program implementation. During the second year of the study, the research was focused on the range of the Laptop Program's impacts on teaching and learning. During the third year of the Laptop Program, the research was 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. The focus was on the possible impact of students' full-time laptop access on standardized test scores.

School selection for the third year of the study was based on the availability of these test scores. A sample of 13 schools at 12 different sites gathered data from eight sites. More than 450 students and almost 50 teachers participated in one or more elements of the research. The research also included a smaller group of matched students and teachers, in which matched Laptop and Non-Laptop groups came either from the same school (internal matches) or from separate schools with similar demographics and resources (external matches). The matched sub-sample included over 270 students and 27 teachers.

I. STUDENTS IN TECHNOLOGY

  1. Access to technology has increased for all.
  2. Opportunities for individual access are still greater for Laptop students.
  3. Laptop students consistently show deeper and more flexible uses of technology than their Non-Laptop matched groups.
  4. While Internet access for Laptop and Non-Laptop groups is identical at school and similar at home, Laptop students use the Internet more frequently and for longer periods of time.
  5. Laptop students spend more time doing homework on computers than do Non-Laptop students (on average per week).
  6. Both Laptop and Non-Laptop students use computers at home for a wider variety of tasks and subjects than they do at school.

II. IMPACT ON TEACHING

  1. Laptop teachers show significant movement toward constructivist teaching practices.
  2. Laptop teachers show significant gains in how often they use computers for specific academic purposes.
  3. Laptop teachers' strongest catalysts for change are internal in nature.
  4. For both groups, the large majority of teachers who indicated a change toward more constructivist pedagogy also indicated that computers played a role in that change.
III. IMPACT ON LEARNING
  1. Laptop students performed better on our writing assessment.
  2. Standardized test score comparisons were inconclusive.
  3. Comparison groups of Laptop and Non-Laptop students show less clear differences in some areas than last year.
  4. Laptop students rate their confidence in computer skills more highly than Non-Laptop students.

IV. STUDENTS AND TEACHER BELIEFS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY

  1. Laptop students' attitudes toward computers are more positive than Non-Laptop students'.

  2. Both Laptop and Non-Laptop students perceived specific benefits from computer use.
  3. While both groups are enthusiastic, Laptop teachers rate computers' effects on students more positively than Non-Laptop teachers.
  4. All the teachers we surveyed are enthusiastic about the use of technology in the classroom.