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  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.

  2. #2
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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).


  3. #3
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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.

  4. #4
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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?

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
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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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