Supplemental Versus Essential Use of Computing Devices in the Classroom: An Analysis

Part of the New Frontiers of Educational Research book series (NFER)

Abstract

Increases in student achievement can be observed in classrooms where computers are used as essential tools in the curriculum. In contrast, when computers are used as supplemental to the curriculum—even in classrooms that are 1:1 (one laptop per student)—no increase in student achievement is observed. These claims are based on the analyses of a number of empirical studies of classroom computer use. We draw on the work of Project RED, a nationwide survey of classroom computer use, to identify the characteristics that distinguish between essential and supplemental use. This distinction is not an empty one; it could and should guide the next wave of 1:1 classrooms as mobile computing devices experience increased adoption. Indeed, the reality of every student having a computing device in the palm of his or her hand is within reach in the near term. However, if those computing devices are used as supplements to the curriculum then a great opportunity will be lost. In contrast, with a change in pedagogy and curriculum, K-12 education is poised to experience a dramatic increase in student achievement.

Keywords

Mobile Device Student Achievement Computing Device Mobile Technology Mobile Learn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is based on the efforts of Dr. Chee- Kit Looi and his colleagues at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and on the vision and cooperation of Chun Ming Tan, Principal of Nan Chiau Primary School, and Gene Lim, head of department and teacher at Nan Chiau. Two of Dr. Looi’s associates, Gean Chia and Peter Seow, in particular, have played major roles in the creation and enactment of the mobilized curriculum used at Nan Chiau. And we wish to acknowledge Jenny Lee and Shirlyn Cheng, teachers at Nan Chiau for their leadership in being early adopters of the mobilized curriculum. We (Norris and Soloway) proudly work with all the above as members of CERA—Center for Education Research and Action. CERA is a unique collaboration, housed at Nan Chiau Primary School, among academics, administrators, teachers, researchers, and commercial concerns. In a conversation with us at his home in Atlanta, Mark Weston (Rivero 2010) used the term “essential” in reference to the computer’s role in learning. Thank you, Mark, for sharing and for that pivotal conversation.

Portions of this book chapter appeared earlier in Education Technology Magazine in an article entitled: Using Smartphones as Essential Tools for Learning: A Call to Place Schools on the Right Side of the 21st Century, Norris, C., Hossain, A. & Soloway, E., Educational Technology Magazine, May/June 2011.

Portions of this book chapter appeared earlier in a Conference paper entitled: Under What Conditions Does Computer Use Positively Impact Student Achievement? Supplemental vs. Essential Use, Norris, C., Hossain, A. & Soloway, E. Proceedings of the SITE 2012 Conference, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Austin, TX.

References

  1. ATC21S (2010) Status report as of January 2010, Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills, http://atc21s.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1-Defining-21st-Century-Skills.pdf
  2. Bain A, Weston M (2011) The learning edge: what technology can do to educate all children. Teachers College Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bebell D, Kay R (2010) One to one computing: a summary of the quantitative results from the Berkshire wireless learning initiative. J Technol, Learn Assess 9(2):5–59Google Scholar
  4. Bransford JD, Brown AL, Cocking RR (eds) (2000) How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown L (2009) Using mobile learning to teach reading to ninth-grade students. Learning 5(1):105–123Google Scholar
  6. Devaney L (2010) Study reveals factors in ed-tech success, Jun 28th, 2010, eSchool News, http://projectred.org/uploads/eSchoolNews_ProjectRed.pdf
  7. Donovan L, Hartley K, Strudler N (2007) Teacher concerns during initial implementation of a one-to-one laptop initiative at the middle school level. J Res Technol Educ 39(3):269–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fried BC (2008) In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Comput Educ 50(2008):906–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Greaves T, Hayes J (2010) Study shows which technology factors improve learning, June 28, 2010, http://www.projectred.org/uploads/Press%20Release%20062710%20v2.pdf
  10. Grimes D, Warschauer M (2008) Learning with laptops: s multi-method case study. J Educ Comput Res 38(3):305–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gulek CJ, Demirtas H (2005) Learning with technology: the impact of laptop use on student achievement. J Technol Learn Assess 3(2):4–35Google Scholar
  12. Hu W (2007) Seeing no progress, some schools drop laptops, May 4, 2007. New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/education/04laptop.html?pagewanted=1
  13. Livingston P (2009) 1-to-1 learning laptop programs that work, 2nd edn. International society for technology in education (ISTE), EugeneGoogle Scholar
  14. Looi CK, Zhang BH, Chen W, Seow P, Chia G, Norris C, Soloway E (2011) 1:1 mobile inquiry learning experience for primary science students: A study of learning effectiveness. J Comput Assist Learn 27:269–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lowther DL, Ross SM, Morrison GM (2003) When each one has one: the influences on teaching strategies and student achievement of using laptops in the classroom. ETR&D 51(3):23–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Materi R (2001) Media and learning: a review of the debate, ingenia training, http://www.ingenia-consulting.com/files/Media-and-Learning-Debate.htm
  17. Ministry of Education (2008) MOE launches third Masterplan for ICT in education, http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2008/08/moe-launches-third-masterplan.php, Singapore
  18. Ministry of Education (2010) Primary education-the way forward, Singapore, http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/peri/
  19. Murphy M, Meeker M (2011) Top mobile internet trends, http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meeker-matt-murphy-2011-2#-1, Feb
  20. Norris C, Soloway E (2010a) Why is mobile technology different from other technology? Among many other reasons, students will be using their own devices. District Administration Magazine, Feb. http://www.districtadministration.com/article/why-mobile-technology-different-other-technology
  21. Norris C, Soloway E (2010c) What will move the needle? Only one technology has the potential to make an authentic impact on student achievement. District Administration Magazine, July. http://www.districtadministration.com/article/what-will-move-needle
  22. Norris C, Soloway E (2011a) Mobile devices as essential tools: carts of laptops haven’t raised student achievement—and neither will carts of iPads. District Administration Magazine, April, http://www.districtadministration.com/article/mobile-devices-essential-tools
  23. Norris C, Hossain A, Soloway E (2011b) Using smartphones as essential tools for learning: a call to place schools on the right side of the 21st century. Educ Technol 51(3):18–25Google Scholar
  24. Partnership for 21st century skills (2008) 21st Century skills, education and competitiveness: a resource and policy guide, http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/21st_century_skills_education_and_competitiveness_guide.pdf
  25. Penuel WR (2005) Research: what it says about 1-to-1 learning. Cupertino: Apple Computer Inc. Available online at: http://www.ubiqcomputing.org/Apple_1-to-1_Research.pdf
  26. Project RED Reports (2010) The technology factor: nine keys to student achievement and cost-effectiveness, http://www.projectred.org/uploads/PREP11/ProjectREDPreview.pdf
  27. Rivero V (2010) Interview: Mark Weston, Edtech Digest; http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/interview- mark-weston-2/
  28. SETDA (2008) Class of 2020: action plan for education, state educational technology directors association, http://www.setda.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=270&name=DLFE-296.pdf
  29. Silvernail DL, Lane DMM (2004) The impact of Maine’s one-to-one laptop program on middle school teachers and students: Phase one summary evidence. Maine Education Policy Research Institute, University of Southern Maine, PortlandGoogle Scholar
  30. Stallings J (1980) Allocated academic learning time revisited, or beyond time on task. Educ Researcher 9(11):11–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stross R (2010) Computers at home: educational hope vs. teenage reality; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/ business/11digi.html?_r = 1&pagewanted = print
  32. Tischler L (2008) MarkAnderson’s 10 predictions for 2009; http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/lindatischler/ design-times/mark-andersons-10-predictions-2009
  33. Wurst C, Smarkola C, Gaffney MA (2008) Ubiquitous laptop usage in higher education: effects on student achievement, student satisfaction, and constructive measures in honors and traditional classrooms. Comput Educ 51(4):1766–1783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhang B, Looi C-K, Seow P, Chia G, Wong L-H, Chen W, So H-J, Soloway E, Norris C (2010) Deconstructing and reconstructing: Transforming primary science learning via a mobilized curriculum. Comput Educ 55:1504–1523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zucker AA, Hug ST (2007) A study of the 1:1 laptop program at the Denver School of Science and TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  36. Zucker AA, Hug ST (2008) Teaching and learning physics in a 1:1 laptop school. J Sci Educ Technol 17:586–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Learning TechnologiesUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations