“Henrico County [Virginia] students are using their laptops successfully for learning, but they aren’t entirely convinced the computers help them do better in school, a new study says. The survey, commissioned by the Henrico School Board, is the first in-depth look at the results of the school system’s high-profile decision to give an iBook laptop computer to every middle school and high school student. It found most teachers use the computers and support the laptop initiative, even though they said it has added to their workload. Most parents also support the program, with 71 percent saying it is worth the money they pay for it, a $50-per-computer annual insurance fee,” David Ress reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Among the study’s findings:
• 88 percent of students surveyed said they bring their laptops to school every day, but less than half — 41 percent of middle-schoolers and 45 percent of high-schoolers — used them at home every day. Students do seem to use the computers at home some of the time, according to 91 percent of parents surveyed. They said use averaged 1.8 hours a week.
• Roughly one in four students who responded to the survey said they use their iBooks to play games at least twice a week.
• Just less than 20 percent of teachers said they use an iBook every day. Half of the system’s teachers spend less than a quarter of classroom time on instruction involving the computers, but 78 percent think iBooks make schoolwork more interesting for students.
• 61 percent of administrators said the filtering system on iBooks is not effective in keeping students from getting onto inappropriate Web sites, but 56 percent of parents said they are confident that the filters do work.
• More than half of students needed to have their iBooks repaired during the school year.
“The survey is based on completed questionnaires by 20,409 middle and high school students, or 80.5 percent of the county’s total for those grades; 81 percent of teachers; 69 percent of administrators; and on 7,102 surveys of parents,” Ress reports.
Full article here.
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Henrico iBooks raise concerns among some parents – May 28, 2004