Student ownership creates lasting learning.

"Knowledge is constructed by humans. Knowledge is not a set of facts, concepts, or laws waiting to be discovered. It is not something existing independently of a knower. Humans create or construct knowledge as they attempt to bring meaning to their experience. Everything that we know, we have made."
-John Zahorik

Complete differentiation necessitates a completely connected classroom.

Laptops in the classroom can be a compelling force for change in teaching practice. Rockman (2003) notes that “very quickly, an observer in a laptop classroom would see that there is less lecture and more individual and group project work....Students can do more work on their own and at their own pace, and the teachers can act more as consultants to them, offering individualized suggestions, mid-course corrections, and more frequent assessments of individual and group progress.”

- Learning from Laptops and Laptops for Learning

Authentic learning benefits all.

Students:

According to a 2005 study by eMINTS (an organization dedicated to creating technology-rich authentic learning environments), "On average, students enrolled in [engaging technology-rich] classrooms scored more than ten points higher on the MAP Communication Arts test than students not enrolled in [engaging technology-rich] classrooms (including free and reduced lunch students and Title I students)... [These students] also scored approximately six points higher on the MAP Mathematics test than their non-technological counterparts. Females who were in the authentic learning environments scored, on average, nearly 8 points higher on the MAP Mathematics test."

Parents:

Overall, parents were impressed with the [student-centered technology enriched model] and were pleased that their child had been able to participate. Many parents saw improvement in their child’s reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Parents were impressed with the computer skills learned by their child including the use of the Internet and the related research and presentation skills. As parents noticed their children becoming more independent learners, they also became aware of life skills their children were learning such as teamwork, cooperation, and problem-solving skills.

Parents noticed changes in the classroom environment. By sharing computers, their students were working closely with other students, learning to cooperate and work as a team. Sharing resources and ideas developed more tolerance and respect for classmates and more friendships developed. In [authentic] classrooms discipline problems decreased because students were not getting bored and acting out. Students developed more self-confidence, especially in presentation skills. The students had a new enthusiasm for school. Parents thought that keeping students together and with the same teacher for a second year was not the ideal situation. Overall, parents noticed that the classroom fostered an attitude of helpfulness and sharing between its members and set up a positive learning community.
-eMINTS Focus Group Report Series #5

Teachers:

The teachers [who introduced technology and authenticity into their classrooms] reported three general changes in their classrooms:
  1. Students’ motivation to work increased. Students are so motivated to use the computers that they ask for more computer time in lieu of recess. Students were more focused and stayed on task longer. Students improved their writing, researching, and math skills.
  2. The classroom climate changed. Discipline was not a problem as students participated in active learning. Students cooperated as partners and in groups, teaching each other and developing a learning community. Students gained confidence and improved self-esteem. Students developed higher order thinking skills.
  3. Student performance improved. Different categories of students showed various types of improvement in performance. At-risk students and those with special needs showed evidence of substantial progress towards grade-level performance. “Average” students showed improved mastery and creativity in their work. And “gifted” students used the resources to explore subjects and projects to the extent of their abilities.
-eMINTS Teacher perceptions of student change.

21st century students require 21st century teachers and tools to succeed.

Prior to introducing a 1:1 laptop program into a Canadian school district (Peace River North School District), girls significantly outperformed boys on the district writing assessment. Two years into the project, that gap had disappeared, with the percentage of boys and girls meeting standards at 89 percent and 88 percent, respectively.

In 9 middle schools in Maine where a 1:1 laptop program and authentic curriculum were introduced, student achievement started out at the state average. Two years later, researchers reported that achievement scores of students in the same nine schools were significantly higher in science, math, and social studies than those of Maine middle schools that had the benefit of only one year with the laptops.

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-1 to 1 Learning A Review and Analysis by the Metiri Group

Harvest park middle school also saw a rise in GPA for all students in their laptop programs:
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-Learning With Technology: The Impact of Laptop Use on Student Achievement

Technology transforms:

  • The learning environment.

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-The Rockman Report, Year One

The Wireless Writing Project has asked a survey each year for the last three: How much has your attitude about school changed for the better because of your iBook? These were the results:
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  • The process of meaning-making.

Laptop students report a greater reliance on active learning strategies:
Laptop students more frequently rely on active learning and study strategies when reading and writing for school. Laptop students indicate that they take notes while reading, highlight, rewrite, revise, and outline at higher rates than Non-Laptop students.
-The Rockman Report, Year 2
  • The teacher-student relationship.

Teachers become facilitators:
In our shadow study, we observed that teachers in Laptop classes spent more time consulting and conferencing with individuals and groups than teachers in Non-Laptop classes. Teachers in our surveys also reflect on the way their role has changed, from a director of learning to a facilitator of learning. The amount of lecturing in classrooms has decreased since the inception of the Laptop Program, according to forty-one percent of the teachers we surveyed. Shadow study observations support the teachers' claims.

Students direct their own learning:
Teachers felt that the laptops allow students to express themselves more creatively and to work more independently. Many teachers commented that their classrooms are now more student-centered, where students lead their own inquiries and direct their own learning, and teachers assist students as needed.
-The Rockman Report, Year 2
  • The conversations about thinking and learning.

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-The Rockman Report, Year 2

Student collaboration produces student engagement.

At Manatee County Public Schools in Bradenton, Florida, where nearly 6000 students and teachers participate in [a comprehensive 1:1 laptop program and student-directed model for learning], the level of student engagement has skyrocketed while absences have declined since the initiative began in 2003. Two-thirds of students report they watch less television and spend more time doing homework.

An analysis of a 1 to 1 Learning initiative in School Administrative District #4 in rural Maine showed that among its middle school children, attendance already relatively high, increased by an additional 7.7 percent, as the district moved from a 3 to 1 to a 1 to 1 student-to-computer ratio. During the same time period, the number of behavior letters sent home decreased by 54 percent. The true measure of this success came when the first students in the program graduated from high school in 2003, setting a new record for the percentage going on to college.
-1 to 1 Learning A Review and Analysis by the Metiri Group


-Wireless Writing Program

Two-thirds of the Laptop teachers we surveyed stated that the amount of cooperative learning and group work in their classrooms has increased since the start of the Laptop Program. Laptop students reported a higher frequency of writing reports and papers in collaboration with other students than Non-Laptop students. During our shadow study, Laptop students engaged in group work more than twice as often as their Non-Laptop counterparts. Teachers see students asking each other questions and depending on their peers for information, ideas, and editing, as well as for technical help.
-The Rockman Report, Year 2

A 1:1 computing environment injects passion, curiosity, and responsibility into the classroom.

The 1998 NAEP report (Archer, 1998), explored forms of technology applications beyond Computer Assisted Instruction (e.g., multimedia use, web-based projects, online learning) that contributed to differences in student performance when used in conjunction with different approaches to teaching (e.g., constructivism, inquiry-based) and learning (e.g., problem-solving, decision-making). For example, the NAEP study found that students in the eighth grade whose teachers used computers primarily for "simulations and applications"-generally associated with higher-order thinking-performed better on NAEP than students whose teachers did not. Conversely, students also in the eighth grade whose teachers used computers primarily for "drill and practice"- generally associated with lower-order thinking skills-performed worse.
- Learning Quest Inc.

-Wireless Writing Program
In a survey of over 12,000 students in the Maine Laptop Initiative, the response in favor of working with laptops was overwhelming:
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-Laptops for Learning

The walls of the classroom and the class schedule do not dictate when learning happens.

Learning is not an event. In this day and age, it is a continual process. -from Will Richardson

"Laptop students spent substantial amounts of out-of-school time completing schoolwork on their notebook computers. Seventh grade Laptop students spent ten times as much out-of-school computer time on schoolwork as 7th grade Non-Laptop students."
-The Rockman Report, Year 2

Authentic learning does not fear failure.

Used appropriately, technology can change things. Large-scale and fine-grained individualization becomes possible, with precise alignment to curriculum standards and frequent (daily, or even hourly) progress assessment with immediate feedback. “Just in time” delivery of individual instructional prescriptions, any time and anywhere, can be routine. Learners really can work at their own rate, and follow their own interests and needs, without concern for appearing to be a “nerd” or a “dummy.” The critical social context for learning can be based on success in a goal-oriented community, rather than being based on individual competition and fear of failure. And, these advantages can be obtained while freeing instructor time to work as a “guide on the side” with each learner (one instructor using PLATO in this way recently commented that for the first time in 25 years of teaching, he felt he could really teach; another commented that for the first time she thought of her learners as individuals, rather than a class).
-Plato Learning: A Guide for Implementing Technology