When each one has one: The influences on teaching strategies and student achievement of using laptops in the classroom

Abstract

In this study, we examined the educational effects of providing fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students with 24-hour access to laptop computers. Specifically we examined the impact of laptops on classroom activities, and on student use of technology and their writing and problem-solving skills. Participating teachers received computer integration training using the iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry (NTeQ) model to develop problem-based lessons that engage students in critically examining authentic issues, and strengthen research and writing skills. A matched treatment-control group design was employed, in which classes taught at the same grade levels in five participating schools served as the laptop (1 computer per student) and control (5+ computers per class) contexts. Participants included students, teachers, and parents from the two groups. Although systematic observations revealed relatively few differences in teaching methods between laptop and control classrooms, laptop students used computers more frequently, extensively, and independently. Writing assessment results showed substantial and significant advantages for laptop over control students, with six of eight effect sizes exceeding +0.80. Results also showed significant advantages for the laptop group on five of the seven components of the problem-solving task.

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Lowther, D.L., Ross, S.M. & Morrison, G.M. When each one has one: The influences on teaching strategies and student achievement of using laptops in the classroom. ETR&D 51, 23–44 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504551

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Keywords

  • Word Processing
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Control Class
  • Student Survey
  • Control Student