Laptops in blue jeans : student perceptions of connecting with full-time technology

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Aitchison, James
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2004
The purpose of this project was to determine student perceptions of changes in leaming and living caused by full-time (24/7) access to laptop technology. The ubiquitous nature of laptops changes the accessibility of technology for students. The project intended to reveal the changes in daily routines, effect on school work by the participants, their attitudes and their views of the benefits and disadvantages of access. Livingstone Range School Division (Southern Alberta, Canada) participated in a pilot project involving the use of laptops by Junior High School students (in grades 6, 7 and 8) in two small rural schools. The students accessed wireless computers over a two-and-ahalf year time frame on a 24/7 basis starting in the winter of 2002. The need for this study became apparent in the development of the Leaming Anywhere Program to Optimize Pupil Success (L.A.P.T.O.P.S.) created in Livingstone Range School Division. My role as Director of Technology Services implied monitoring of the project from a technical perspective and my passion for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) integration promoted an educational perspective. The program had many successes and failures and the perceptions of students needed to be articulated. An interview process was used to determine student perceptions of the program. These interviews were open-ended and patterns of response displayed themselves in the multiple conversations. From these pattems an online survey was constructed to generate data that summarized student perceptions. The results of the project indicate that students believe their work is improved by laptops but not necessarily their grades. Students want technology to work, they want it to be easily cared for and maintained. Students also want technology that is easily portable and does not increase the packing of materials between school and home. The students also want opportunities to use the technology more often and are pleading for more teachers to meet the challenge.
x, 81 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Students -- Alberta -- Attitudes , Laptop computers , Education -- Data processing , Educational technology -- Alberta