About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 76 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

UPS AND DOWNS OF USING LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL: AN INVESTIGATION OF CANADIAN SCHOOLS

T. Karsenti1, S. Collin2

1University of Montreal (CANADA)
2University of Quebec in Montreal (CANADA)
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
The overall objective of this research project was to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits and challenges of using laptops in primary and secondary school at the Eastern Townships School Board.

METHODOLOGY
In all, 5051 students (grades 3 to 11), 571 teachers, 19 education support staff and three school principals participated in the data collection, which was in March 2012. Three main data collection instruments were used: survey questionnaires, individual semi-directed interviews, and group interviews. As the study is still ongoing, the results presented here are preliminary.

MAIN RESULTS
(14 main benefits of laptops) Overall, fourteen main advantages were found. 1. Facilitation of work for both teachers and students; 2. Greater access to current, high-quality information; 3. Greater student motivation; 4. Greater student attentiveness; 5. Development of student autonomy; 6. Increased interaction among students, teachers and parents; 7. Individualized, differentiated learning; 8. Engaging, interactive and meaningful learning using multimedia support; 9. Development of ICT skills; 10. Universal access; 11. The breakdown of barriers between the school and society; 12. More opportunities for students in the future. 13. Positive impact on school achievement. 14. Decrease in school drop-out.
Main challenges in ‘one laptop per child’ classrooms
The first challenge identified is technical (computer breakdowns and malfunctions). This shows the importance of providing sustainable funding for the ‘one laptop per child’ strategy in classrooms to ensure positive teaching and learning outcomes. The second main challenge is pedagogical, and refers to the less than optimal uses of laptops in class, i.e., when they are used for recreational or social instead of educational purposes. Note that this second challenge was reported by teachers and students alike, and that the vast majority of the students felt that using their laptops at school for purposes other than education was a waste of time. We may conclude that the students surveyed, as well as their teachers, appear to have adopted a strongly educational attitude toward laptop use in the classroom, which is most probably attributable to the frequent use of ICT at the schools. In other words, these findings suggest that the more that students use ICT for learning, the more they come to appreciate their educational value, and the more they use them for educational rather than recreational or social purposes.

CONCLUSION
The preliminary results of this study indicate that the ‘one laptop per child’ strategy fully contributes to students’ academic success at the Eastern Townships School Board. This helps explain why the school board jumped from 66th to 23rd position provincially (out of 70 boards) in five years, and why the student dropout rate plunged from 39.4% in 2004–2005 to 21.7% in 2010-2011. The lesson retained is that, despite the technical and pedagogical challenges, this innovative initiative to provide ‘one laptop per child’ has produced incontestable gains in both teaching and learning, and for the future social and professional lives of the students involved.
@InProceedings{KARSENTI2012UPS,
author = {Karsenti, T. and Collin, S.},
title = {UPS AND DOWNS OF USING LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL: AN INVESTIGATION OF CANADIAN SCHOOLS},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {76}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Karsenti AU - S. Collin
TI - UPS AND DOWNS OF USING LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL: AN INVESTIGATION OF CANADIAN SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 76
EP - 76
ER -
T. Karsenti, S. Collin (2012) UPS AND DOWNS OF USING LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL: AN INVESTIGATION OF CANADIAN SCHOOLS, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, p. 76.
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