Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 121–139. 2011
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The authors examine differences in student technology outcomes between a pilot 1:1 program with ubiquitous technology use and a more traditional program in which our candidates are expected to complete specific technology requirements in each course.
Participants and Design
The participants were 109 teacher candidates enrolled to elementary education department at a suburban university in Southern California.
Twenty-eight were enrolled in the 1:1 laptop cohort, whereas 81 were enrolled in four regular (non-laptop) cohorts.
One-hundred nine teacher candidates completed a pretest technology survey online at the beginning of the teacher preparation program in the fall semester.
In addition, 71 teacher candidates completed a posttest technology survey online at the end of the spring semester.
The authors assigned one of the 10 cohorts to be a 1:1 laptop cohort.
The other nine cohorts approached technology integration accordance with California teacher education policy in which students are expected to have specific technology experiences and requirements in each course.
The department chair selects the instructional and supervision faculty involved in all cohorts based on area of expertise and cohort need. All cohorts complete the same courses, and faculty use the same approved syllabus for each course.
The findings reveal that pretest candidates, who self-selected to be involved in the laptop program, ranked themselves lower than non-laptop participants on areas of beliefs about technology in education.
Furthermore, the authors found that after the post-test that the beliefs of laptop candidates about educational uses of technology and skill level with educational technology significantly increased.
The results also indicated that teacher candidates who were not given ubiquitous access did not improve in skill level, nor did their beliefs about educational technology change.
The finding that candidates in the non-laptop cohorts had no difference in their beliefs, use, and expertise from pre- to posttest, despite being required to complete technology course assignments —could have a profound impact on how teacher educator programs plan candidate technology experiences.
The authors conclude that this study is significant for teacher education because of the statistical evidence supporting the claims that providing teacher candidates 24/7 access to laptops is a better choice for promoting 21st century skills in the candidates than other methods.