Laptop Program Report: Effectiveness and Impacts

In the spring of 2008, IT staff conducted a survey of students, teachers, and parents to better understand opinion about the effectiveness and impacts of the 1:1 student laptop program. The survey format followed a similar study of 2003, so that the school could compare the results over this five-year span. The school has published a 20-page report detailing findings of the study.

Major Findings

Laptop use in English and computer science classes is nearly ubiquitous. Among other subjects, students use laptop computers more often in history and modern languages classes and less often in math and art classes.

Laptop computing has increased student access to computers at home. Parents felt more strongly about this effect in 2008 than in 2003.

The survey found a small impact of the laptop program on teaching methods and curriculum. Respondents felt that the laptop program had significantly improved writing skills, improved collaboration, and increased communication overall.

Teachers feel that girls are more willing to use computers and demonstrate stronger computers skills as a result of the laptop program.

The survey suggests that the laptop program support the ability of students to learn in a way that matches their learning style.

Students and parents feel that laptop computers help students keep their academic lives more organized. Teachers feel the same way about their use of laptop computers.

Respondents expressed concern about a decrease in face-to-face communication as a result of the laptop program.

Students found great value in the ability of social network sites to overcome separation from their friends by distance or time.

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