Leveraging Laptops: Effective Models for Enhancing Achievement
Project Research Report 2006-07
The Leveraging Laptops program is a research based method for gathering data on the integration of laptop computers as tool for learning. In collaboration with the districts and educational researchers from across the state, the Florida Department of Education is able to understand the impact of laptop computers in the learning process. The Leveraging Laptops program has been funded by Title II-D, Enhancing Education Through Technology.
The purpose of the Leveraging Laptops program was to develop effective models for enhancing student achievement through the integration of laptop computer tools for teaching and learning in the classroom. The Research Oversight Committee was appointed by the Bureau of Instruction and Innovation to collect and analyze data about how this funding impacted teaching practices and student achievement.
The program and the research involved 440 teachers across subject areas in 47 K-12 schools in 11 districts. It is estimated that the program directly reached over 20,000 students during the project period. In coming years, the resources and pedagogical skills that were brought to each district for the project will continue to beneﬁt students in the 11 participating districts.
Each district participated in a research design consisting of ﬁve components: interviews with district project coordinators, teacher surveys, school-level observation studies of the laptop classrooms, mentored teacher inquiry (action research) into effectiveness of technology-supported teaching, and examination of project- related documents.
The ﬁndings indicate that positive changes in teaching practices and student learning were realized as a result of the infusion of professional development, support, and access to classroom technology.
- 78% of action research teachers documented changes in student achievement including test scores, higher level thinking skills, retention, and transfer of learning.
- Nearly 60% of action research teachers documented an increase in conditions that support learning: enjoyment, motivation, engagement, on-task behavior, and positive school experience.
- Students developed 21st Century Skills such as collaboration, computer skills, workforce skills, abilities as producers, communication skills, leadership abilities, innovation and creativity.
- Instructional practices shifted from traditional teaching strategies to ones that are student-centered and engage learners in meaningful use of computers to enhance learning.
- Signiﬁcant increases were observed related to the following student-centered instructional strategies
- student attention, interest and engagement;
- project-based learning;
- teachers acting as facilitators and coaches;
- cooperative/collaborative learning;
- independent inquiry/research;
- academically focused class time;
- computers used as a learning tool; and
- utilization of computers to support critical thinking skills
- Signiﬁcant decreases were observed related to teacher-centered, traditional practices:
- Independent seatwork
- Direct instruction
- Computers used as a delivery tool
- Using the computer to support lower-level thinking
In numerous cases the results of Florida’s Leveraging Laptops evaluation far exceeded national norms in terms of the types and amount of student-centered teaching practices observed. Evaluation results demonstrate that Leveraging Laptops funding has served as a catalyst for positive changes related to both teaching practices and student achievement in the 11 participating districts.