1 to 1 Technology Initiatives

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Damian Bebell at bebell@bc.edu

More About This Project
can be found on the BWLI page

Berkshire Wireless
Learning Initiative
Student Drawings

As one component of the Berkshire Wireless Evaluation students across all participating schools produced student drawings both before and after implementation of the laptop program. In each case, teachers distributed the blank drawing forms to their students which prompted them to:

Think about the work you do in your classroom.
In the space below, draw a picture of yourself writing in school.

As demonstrated in past 1:1 evaluation and research, student drawings provide a unique and valuable perspective on the impacts of technology as perceived by the students themselves1,2. Although student drawings may be an unusual tool for collecting information about students and their classrooms, student drawings continue to provide a rich descriptive examination into students' perspective that is often neglected in more traditional data sources.

To date, over 3,500 drawings have been collected and analyzed from BWLI students over the course of the evaluation. Specifically, baseline drawings were collected from 7th grade students beginning in December 2005 before student laptops were deployed. Students across all grade levels were subsequently surveyed in June 2006, June 2007, and finally in June 2008. For each student drawing, a trained researcher has coded a number of dichotomous features that have been pre-selected using a emergent analytic coding process established through prior 1:1 research studies. The specific features coded in the drawings fall into four broad categories:

  1. Student Characteristics (what the students were doing),
  2. Technology Present (type of technology depicted),
  3. Student Demeanor (whether the student was depicted positively, negatively, or neutral), and
  4. Other Features (presence of teacher or other students, classroom decorations, multi-frame drawing).

The specific drawing codes and their definitions used in the current evaluation can be accessed HERE.

Although there are many ways to analyze the collected sample of student drawings, our analyses of 7th grade students drawings over time (including pre and post- laptop drawings) can be accessed HERE.

Although the coded samples of drawings show some differences in student depictions and perceptions over time (notably the increase in technology resources), individual student drawings allow a more direct window into students' perception and view of themselves and their school.

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  1. Russell, M., Bebell, D., Cowan, J. & Corbelli, M. (2003). An AlphaSmart for each student: Does teaching and learning change with full access to word processors? Computers and Composition. 20, 51–76.
  2. Russell, M., Bebell, D., & Higgins, J. (2004). Laptop Learning: A comparison of teaching and learning in upper elementary equipped with shared carts of laptops and permanent 1:1 laptops. Journal of Educational Computing Research. 30(3), 313–330.