Damian Bebell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to Partner Organizations
Boston Public Schools (BPS)
Boston Public School's Office of Instructional & Information Technology (OIIT) Web Site, Project web site (BPS)
BPS Office of Instructional & Informational Technology Blog
BPS Learning and Information Network for the Community (LINCIII) Technology Plan
Apple 1:1 Education
Laptops for Learning (L4L)
Baseline Research Study
The Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative at Boston College has recently partnered with Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Apple Computer to conduct one of the largest and in-depth research studies of urban teachers' use of technology to date.
As the nation's oldest public school system (founded in 1647), Boston Public Schools has a long history of meeting the needs of successive generations of students as both expectations and teaching strategies evolve. Today, Boston Public Schools serves a diverse community of nearly 57,000 students in 145 schools across the largest city in New England. Over the last three years, Boston Public Schools Office of Instructional and Informational Technology (OIIT) has developed and begun implementation of a comprehensive technology plan for moving BPS schools forward with using technology to achieve educational and operational objectives (LINC III Technology Plan). As one component of the LINC III, the Laptops for Learning Initiative (launched in Spring 2008) represents a major increase in the districts technology access and infrastructure by providing dual platform laptop computers to each of their 5,100 teachers and 150 Principals and Headmasters across 145 schools.
Empirical research is a major component of the Laptops for Learning initiative, and Boston College has been selected to partner with Boston Public Schools and to collect and analyze data concerning teachers baseline use of technology. Using previously validated surveys and new customized web-based surveys, researchers from Boston College are working collaboratively with the Office of Instructional and Informational Technology to document the variety of ways BPS teachers currently use technology, as well as what factors promote or impede teachers' various uses of technology. Through this process, policy makers and district leadership will develop a rich understanding of how teaching and learning may be affected by educational technology. Moreover, the baseline data collection provides important pre-laptop measures of teachers' practices which can be later used to document how teachers' and students' use of technology may change as teachers' receive laptop computers through the Laptops for Learning initiative. Lastly, by including survey items on a variety of teacher attitudes/beliefs, pedagogical practices, and demographic information (grade, age, subject specialty, etc.), the researchers will be able to explore in great detail how different factors contribute or inhibit teachers' adoption and use of a variety of technology uses.
The Laptop for Learning initiative provides an excellent opportunity to investigate these issues, which should yield valuable data and insight not only for local project leaders but also for the greater educational and policy communities. The results of the survey and subsequent analyses will be presented here in a series of research reports and presentations beginning in Summer 2008.