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Thread: Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1 Computing Settings

  1. #1
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    Default Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1 Computing Settings

    This special issue of the Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment focuses on the educational impacts and outcomes of 1:1 computing initiatives and technology-rich K–12 environments. Despite growing interest in and around 1:1 computing, little published research has focused on teaching and learning in these intensive computing environments. This special issue provides a forum for researchers to present empirical evidence on the effectiveness of 1:1 computing models for improving teacher and student outcomes, and to discuss the methodological challenges and solutions for assessing the effectiveness of these emerging technology-rich educational settings.

    Complete listing of papers published within the JTLA 1:1 Special Edition:

    Bebell, D. & O’Dwyer, L.M. (2010). Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1
    Computing Settings. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(1).

    Bebell, D. & Kay, R. (2010). One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative
    Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative. Journal of Technology,
    Learning, and Assessment, 9(2).

    Drayton, B., Falk, J.K., Stroud, R., Hobbs, K., & Hammerman, J. (2010). After
    Installation: Ubiquitous Computing and High School Science in Three Experienced,
    High-Technology Schools. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(3).

    Shapley, K.S., Sheehan, D., Maloney, C., & Caranikas-Walker, F. (2010). Evaluating
    the Implementation Fidelity of Technology Immersion and its Relationship with
    Student Achievement. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(4).

    Suhr, K.A., Hernandez, D.A., Grimes, D., & Warschauer, M. (2010). Laptops and
    Fourth-Grade Literacy: Assisting the Jump over the Fourth-Grade Slump. Journal
    of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(5).

    Weston, M.E. & Bain, A. (2010). The End of Techno-Critique: The Naked Truth about
    1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change. Journal of Technology, Learning, and
    Assessment, 9(6).

    All of the above papers are available here.

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    Thanks Dave, I'll give it a read. Here are some 1:1 computing plans--by no means definitive or even representative--from a small sample of districts around the country (I've only just begun to look into them).


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    The March 4, 2010 Town Crier included a guest column on reading by Wayland Public Schools Superintendent Gary Burton. An anonymous poster, "ysaideam," commented, "If reading is so important, why are we talking about doing away with books and moving to computer based instruction?"

    First, reading *is* important--there is no "if."

    Second, the comment reveals a misconception about education, books, and technology. Reading is a skill, whereas books and technology are simply media. The fact that the comment was posted online underscores the point that reading isn't limited to traditional print.

    The acquisition and application of reading is a complex undertaking. Humans haven't evolved to read, and it's only in the past 100-200 years that the majority of people in even the developed nations have been readers in any meaningful sense.

    The connection between language and print is an arbitrary one. Some languages are highly phonetic (Spanish, Finnish). Others are less so (English). And others aren't phonetic at all (e.g., pictographic Asian systems). Even in alphabetic systems, the alphabet isn't necessarily the same (think English, Russian, and Hebrew, for instance). Each person needs to learn one or more of these arbitrary systems, and whether we struggle to do so depends on a multitude of factors that include the language to which we're exposed and the specific neural wiring of each of our brains.

    We don't need to wait until third grade MCAS results arrive to identify struggling readers. Assessments exist (Wayland uses DIBELS, the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) that let educators know when children as young as Kindergarten are at risk for reading difficulty. This early identification allows for early intervention that will save valuable time, save valuable funds, and be far more likely to result in better reading outcomes.

    In short, learning to read boils down to having a sufficient oral vocabulary and understanding the connection between sounds and symbols. Both of these elements of reading can and should be supported by more than just books. Being read to helps, say by a parent or in the form of an audio "book." Using reading skill development software helps (programs from Lexia Learning Systems are part of Wayland's education technology toolbox). And more and more, the written word doesn't appear as ink on a page, but rather, as pixels on a screen.

    Are books an important part of reading? No doubt. But to miss the power that technology can bring to bear not only on "learning to read," but also to "reading to learn," is to miss the point entirely.

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    Default TC Guest Column On This Subject

    Jeff, this week's Crier has a guest column criticizing the "one-to-one intiative" (see http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/n...echnology-plan).

    I'm curious, since you are the lead on the SC for this program, what your comments on this column are?

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    I found Ms. Bouchard's understanding of the School Committee's technology capital request to be misleading.

    The School Committee initially proposed to the Finance Committee a technology request for $750k that included $150k for a one-to-one Student Computer Initiative (SCI) for the ninth grade. The Finance Committee expressed concerns about that approach and asked for a more detailed plan. Without sufficient time to prepare such a plan, the School Committee scaled back its SCI request to include a smaller pilot at a cost of $75k. The total amount of the final request remained the same at $750k, with a shift of the SCI funds to replacement computers and computers for the Teacher Computer Initiative (TCI).

    The Finance Committee's response to the final request was to ask that the schools reduce the pilot to a cost of $25k (a reduction of $50k). The Finance Committee also removed an additional $100k from the rest of the school request, meaning that some combination of infrastructure upgrades, replacement of computers, and peripheral equipment will have to wait.

    My comment at the School Committee's 3/1 meeting to the effect that a more detailed plan was needed referred to the original request, not the final one (as one might mistakenly infer from Ms. Bouchard's account). Not only did I agree with the scaled down final request, I recommended it. My comment about not being happy with the Finance Committee's final $150k reduction was in reference to the $100k unrelated to the SCI, a fact that Ms. Bouchard omitted from her telling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I found Ms. Bouchard's understanding of the School Committee's technology capital request to be misleading.

    The School Committee initially proposed to the Finance Committee a technology request for $750k that included $150k for a one-to-one Student Computer Initiative (SCI) for the ninth grade. The Finance Committee expressed concerns about that approach and asked for a more detailed plan. Without sufficient time to prepare such a plan, the School Committee scaled back its SCI request to include a smaller pilot at a cost of $75k. The total amount of the final request remained the same at $750k, with a shift of the SCI funds to replacement computers and computers for the Teacher Computer Initiative (TCI).

    The Finance Committee's response to the final request was to ask that the schools reduce the pilot to a cost of $25k (a reduction of $50k). The Finance Committee also removed an additional $100k from the rest of the school request, meaning that some combination of infrastructure upgrades, replacement of computers, and peripheral equipment will have to wait.

    My comment at the School Committee's 3/1 meeting to the effect that a more detailed plan was needed referred to the original request, not the final one (as one might mistakenly infer from Ms. Bouchard's account). Not only did I agree with the scaled down final request, I recommended it. My comment about not being happy with the Finance Committee's final $150k reduction was in reference to the $100k unrelated to the SCI, a fact that Ms. Bouchard omitted from her telling.
    OK Jeff, but I find your answer to be a bit misleading as well. I think the point/question was why the SC would initially propose to spend $150K of our taxpayer dollars for a 1:1 student laptop initiative for the entire 9th grade without a detailed plan in the first place?! You had said you did not have sufficient time to prepare a plan AFTER FinCom sent the SC back to provide the research… so you scaled back the request. This is what makes no sense! You appear to sidestepping your accountability for the INITIAL REQUEST by changing the subject and saying that you recommended scaling back. Is it because:

    1. You voted against the idea in the first place… before this ever went to FinCom the FIRST time… because you realized there was zero research done to back up the request

    or

    2. You recused yourself from voting when the SC INITIALLY decided to propose this capital expense to the FinCom because you realized there was no plan in place for implementation

    Did you or did you not vote to ORIGINALLY recommend the $150K expense… with zero research or plan in place… to provide a laptop for every 9th grader? If you voted no, why?

    Another question is how Leisha Simon is being held accountable for having NO plan in place for how these laptops would have been used had our FinCom not been smart enough to send the SC back to do their homework? Her inability to get her job done… with her staff in the Central Office now totaling almost $500K in salaries… puts all technology on the back burner for another year now! She appears to have screwed the Wayland students out of technology by not doing her job (having a plan). What does the SC plan to do to address her ineffectiveness in failing to propose a detailed and well-thought-out plan in the first place? Why is Wellesley proceeding so successfully and why didn't Ms. Simon even know they had a 1:1 laptop initiative… as they are a peer district and have had it for 5 years and even published a manual about their learning experiences from the pilot. Given the expense we incur for Ms. Simon's position, it would seem we should expect more. However, maybe there's something I don't know.

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    Jeff, you are in error when you say "without a detailed plan" and "zero research or plan" and "having NO plan in place" and "all technology on the back burner for another year now."

    The schools provided a plan. The Finance Committee said that it wasn't detailed enough. Based on that feedback, the schools elected to scale back the Student Computer Initiative request, instead asking for funding in other important areas, and use this year to flesh out a more detailed plan.

    The Finance Committee saw fit to proceed with an SCI pilot, just one smaller than what the schools requested. As you are probably aware, the Finance Committee approved a $600k technology capital spend. This was $50k below the School Committee's $75k SCI request and $100k below the SC's request in other areas.

    Your assessment of Ms. Simon's work is off base, in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Jeff, you are in error when you say "without a detailed plan" and "zero research or plan" and "having NO plan in place" and "all technology on the back burner for another year now."

    The schools provided a plan. The Finance Committee said that it wasn't detailed enough. Based on that feedback, the schools elected to scale back the Student Computer Initiative request, instead asking for funding in other important areas, and use this year to flesh out a more detailed plan.

    The Finance Committee saw fit to proceed with an SCI pilot, just one smaller than what the schools requested. As you are probably aware, the Finance Committee approved a $600k technology capital spend. This was $50k below the School Committee's $75k SCI request and $100k below the SC's request in other areas.

    Your assessment of Ms. Simon's work is off base, in my opinion.
    OK, you're right. You/the SC had a plan. Your plan consisted of naming the plan ("SCI") and asking for the money. Other than that, no further planning done. I hope the more detailed plan being developed now that it has been asked for can go just slightly beyond this year's plan.

    As for Ms. Simon's work, I can't address other things she does, but having the IT director of the schools not be able to/not wish to search the Internet for plans n in peer towns seems like a deriliction of duty to me. I believe in her role she is supposed to be the leading authority here. Call me picky, I guess...

    Oh, and by the way, did you or did you not vote to ask for the SCI money before FINCOM said no and you then proposed scaling it back. You forgot an answer in your response...

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    Your characterization is again in error--the initial plan, while not thorough enough for the FinCom, was certainly more than just a name.

    Yes, I voted for both the original and final school technology requests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Your characterization is again in error--the initial plan, while not thorough enough for the FinCom, was certainly more than just a name.

    Yes, I voted for both the original and final school technology requests.
    OK. Let me suspend my tack for a moment. If there was a more detailed plan, could you either summarize via bullet points the key parts of the plan or provide a link to the written version of it?

    And, given your initial vote, it sounds like you believed in this plan.

    I look forward to hearing the details.

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    I don't have them at my fingertips, but will post the initial and final technology requests when I can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I don't have them at my fingertips, but will post the initial and final technology requests when I can.
    Jeff, for a guy who normally has everything readily available, this qualifies as a long time since you said you'd post this. Thought I'd ask again in case you forgot...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I don't have them at my fingertips, but will post the initial and final technology requests when I can.
    For now, I'm going to take the lack of a response more than 48 hours later as the documents do not exist. I've also asked around town, and looked online in the interim, and have unable to produce any written technology plans on my own.

    I, therefore, repose the question to Jeff -- since you voted to send the $150k request to FinCom with no plan in place, how can that kind of freewheeling spending be justified? And, other than FinCom saying no, why did you then change your mind and suggest scaling back the request? It seems the only plausible reason for this would be that you realized there was no real plan. If this is true, what does this say about the role Ms. Simon, whose job it is to plan for such expenditures, had in simply throwing unjustified spending requests to the town? What does this say about the SC's due diligence in vetting such requests?

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    Other assumptions that you might make besides non-existence include my wanting to be sure that I provide the specific technology capital requests submitted to the Finance Committee (and not interim work in progress versions) and my having other obligations to which to attend.

    Beyond patience, you might choose to learn about other virtues here. It's actually a fascinating topic--I wasn't aware that there were so many different ways to classify virtues, including four classic Western virtues, virtues associated with the three Abrahamic religions, the almost oxymoronic sounding Chinese martial morality, and those put forth by individual thinkers ranging from Nietzsche to Benjamin Franklin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Other assumptions that you might make besides non-existence include my wanting to be sure that I provide the specific technology capital requests submitted to the Finance Committee (and not interim work in progress versions) and my having other obligations to which to attend.

    Beyond patience, you might choose to learn about other virtues here. It's actually a fascinating topic--I wasn't aware that there were so many different ways to classify virtues, including four classic Western virtues, virtues associated with the three Abrahamic religions, the almost oxymoronic sounding Chinese martial morality, and those put forth by individual thinkers ranging from Nietzsche to Benjamin Franklin.
    Jeff, when the SC decides it's a good idea to blow $150k of taxpayer money on a strawman plan (at best), I don't think patience is warranted when asking why! Who knows how many other parts of the budget are simply requests for money with no real understanding of or plan for the use of such monies? So spare me the lectures on virtues....

    As for your postulates on why you're not responding, I'd say it it's possible (but not probable) that you are sifting through versions of the plan to get the right one out. If so, warranted. However, you seem to have plenty of time to devote to pursuits of online posting. See the comments section of this Wicked Local article (http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/n...efficient-town) for the nine posts there you managed to find time for amongst your multitude of obligations. Of course, this doesn't include the time you spent on researching virtues. [GRIN] Me thinks you doth protest too much....
    Last edited by Jeff Baron; 03-17-2010 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Forgot one thought...

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