Laptops in school classes improve scores

Feb 15, 2011
Le chercheur Thierry Karsenti a examiné l’influence des ordinateurs portables dans l’apprentissage. Credit: La Tribune/Imacom par Jessica Garneau

The use of laptops in elementary and high school classrooms fosters academic success according to a study conducted in the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB) by Thierry Karsenti of the Université de Montréal Faculty of Education.

“The ETSB has jumped from 66th to 23rd in the provincial rankings and the dropout rate has fallen from 39.4 percent in 2004-2005 to 22.7 percent in 2008-2009,” says Karsenti. Some might think that the implementation of laptops in the classroom can explain these improvements, but Karsenti isn't bestowing any magical properties to information and communication technology (ICT). In his opinion, a slew of other factors must be present for laptops to have a positive influence in the classroom.

Karsenti and student Simon Collin conducted the study from April 2010 to January 2011 and selected the ETSB because every student from grade 3 to 11 has had a in class for the past eight years. They surveyed 2,432 , 272 teachers, 14 interventionists, and three administrations.

Karsenti highlights that the use of computers as a teaching tool increased concentration, reinforced motivation and facilitated both the development and the autonomy of students. In addition, it provides tailored education all the while teaching computer skills.

“We are witnessing the opening of schools to society,” says Karsenti who holds the Canada Research Chair in Information and Communication Technology in Education. “Students post their work online, read what others have done and can work on projects with students in Korea or Paraguay. It almost seems unfair to other students!”

Karsenti adds that students with laptops write more than average students and seeing as the computer isn't introduced before grade three they still know how to use a good old-fashioned pencil.

The presence of computers clearly affects the teacher-student relationship.

And although students interviewed disapprove of the use of computers in class for any other purpose than learning, teachers must remain interesting or they risk losing their students to Facebook, MSN, or any other distraction that is more appealing than what is happening in the classroom. In addition, teachers can be challenged by students who are fact-checking online what is being taught.

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Relationships Improve Student Success

Jun 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- When students are underachieving, school policymakers often examine class size, curriculum and funding, but University of Missouri researchers suggest establishing relationships may be a powerful ...

See something? Tell the teacher

Nov 23, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Many school districts are pushing principals to spend more time in classrooms observing and evaluating teachers but few are using the information they gather to improve education.

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

18 hours ago

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...