Lap­ping up learn­ing


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Jes­sica Nico

LAP­TOPS have a ben­e­fi­cial role in im­prov­ing ed­u­ca­tion out­comes, ac­cord­ing to Univer­sity of Notre Dame stu­dent Steven Males.

The for­mer Aquinas Col­lege ju­nior school head re­ceived his PhD af­ter re­search­ing the ef­fect a one-to-one lap­top pro­gram had on the ed­u­ca­tion of boys at the school.

His re­search showed while the “nov­elty fac­tor” of the lap­tops soon dis­ap­peared, the lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy skills of the stu­dents did im­prove com­pared to na­tional stan­dards.

He said it was im­por­tant for par­ents and teach­ers to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how dig­i­tal tools could ben­e­fit stu­dents.

“A two-pronged ap­proach of pro­vid­ing tar­geted pro­fes­sional learn­ing for staff, cou­pled with con­fronting the ob­vi­ous dis­trac­tion that a one-to-one de­vice can be for pri­mary and sec­ondary school stu­dents, yielded pos­i­tive out­comes,” he said.

“Although teach­ers re­ported that lap­tops were im­por­tant for the teach­ing and learn­ing pro­gram, there was a wide vari­a­tion in the way teach­ers har­nessed the one-to-one lap­top en­vi­ron­ment for the ben­e­fit of stu­dent learn­ing.

“I hope that this study can as­sist ed­u­ca­tional pol­icy-mak­ers, school lead­ers and teach­ers who are con­tem­plat­ing how to best in­te­grate one-to-one lap­top de­vices into the fab­ric of their schools.”

Steven Male.

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