Laptops and Literacy: A Multi-Site Case Study
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:Digital Divide | Digital Literacy | Education
Tags:knowledge gap, computers at school
This multi-site case study examined literacy practices in 10 U.S. schools with one-to-one computing programs where all students had access to laptop computers throughout the school day. Important changes noted in the processes, sources, and products of literacy were along the lines often touted by educational reformers but seldom realized in schools. For example, reading instruction featured more scaffolding and epistemic engagement, whereas student writing became more iterative; more public, visible, and collaborative; more purposeful and authentic; and more diverse in genre. Students also gained important technology-related literacies such as those that involve analysing information or producing multimedia. However, laptop programs were not found to improve test scores or erase academic achievement gaps between students with low and high socioeconomic status. Both the benefits and limitations of laptop programs are discussed in this article.