The strategy Edit

Essentially, if teachers are provided with ‘ground-up’ support and training, this will translate to increased readiness and use of laptops and other digital devices within classrooms, resulting in increased student engagement and involvement, which in turn can be shown to provide increased academic and holistic results.

There has been a notable increase in academic and holistic results within classrooms since the introduction of digital technologies in classroom, and an even greater one with the implementation of personal mobile learning devices. It has been shown that students who have access to laptops achieve 20 percent higher marks in Mathematics and 15 percent higher grades compared to students who didn’t have access to laptops in classrooms (Kposowa & Valdez, 2013). Annan-Coultas (2012) identifies that the greatest benefit of the laptop was that it proved access to the internet and communication tools.  Moyle (2010) discusses the integration of technology into the classroom, stating that technologies ‘offer opportunities for creating meaningful learning environments’ and that ‘technologies enable different types of social interaction’ (Building Innovation: Learning with technologies, p.14). Warschauer (2006) suggests a benefit of laptop use is that is promotes the cultivation of students’ aptitude for inventive thinking, which is “the ability to negotiate reasoning, creativity, risk taking, self-direction, and adaptation in complex situations and environments” (Laptops and literacy: Learning in the wireless classroom, 2006).

Application of Inan and Lowther's (2010) model on teacher-laptop-integration & integration of appropriate VIT Professional Teaching Standards (2.6, 3.4, 3.5, 4.6) will, in this authors opinion, result in a reversal of the negative implications of poor technological teacher training and ICT integration and integration.

This assertion can be made by analysis of current research into digital technology use in classrooms. The way and how well teachers integrate digital technologies (including laptops) affect students’ learning (Lei and Zhao, 2008). Lawson and Comber (1999) indicated that successful technology integration occurs when senior management is “aware of the problems experienced by the staff and … provides teachers with professional development and resources. Technology support systems allowed for teachers to more quickly integrate technology (Sandholtz and Reilly, 2004).

A Brief (and relevant) History of digital device integration Edit

Students who were raised in Australia’s education system at the beginning of this millennium would be well versed in Windows (put a link), with most schools integrating desktop computers into special “Information Technology” classrooms. At the time (2000) there were no mobile computer devices (Tablets, Smartphones) and laptops were far and few between. Windows dominated the operating system market with a commanding ninety-seven percent market share. (Mackie, 2014) However, in the last fifteen years the operating system Windows has dropped to 14 percent market share, due mostly to the rise of tablets and smartphones, and with the removal of tablets and smart phones Windows only commands fifty percent market share(Mackie, 2014).

The rise of the “i-Device” (iPad, iPhone) was swift, with the iPad’s launch only five years ago in 2010 it rose to a dominating position within the tablet market in 2013, having a fifty-two percent market share. Yet again though, a trend appears, and by 2015 the “i-Devices” only accounted for thirteen percent of mobile devices.

It is apparent that there are obvious trends within digital technologies, that there will be a high uptake and high use for a short period but the next wave of revolutionary digital technology will come along and claim the prize of digital emperor. This raises a flurry of questions (most of which have been researched); Do we move on from Windows to i-Devices? Do we stay with Windows? Do we use only laptops? Do we use both laptops and i-Devices? Do we abandon technology within classrooms?

The dramatic drop in usage rates and constantly shifting digital device trends leaves the field of education in a precarious situation in which technology to invest in.

At its current state, digital technology integration has three major options; 1) One-to-one laptops, 2) one-to-one iPads, or 3) bring your own device (BYOD). One-to-one policies, referring to one laptop per student and teacher, were introduced using laptop devices and later some schools integrated iPads as an alternative.

One to one policies repeatedly report increased student engagement and activity within learning. Eighty percent of teachers in a Massachusetts laptop program and seventy perfect from a Maine laptop program both reported that the program helped them “more effectively meet their curriculum goals and differentiate learning to meet particular student needs” (Silvernail & Lane, 2004).

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