1 to 1 Technology Initiatives

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Damian Bebell at bebell@bc.edu

More About This Project
can be found on the FWLE page

Frederick Pilot Middle School Wireless Learning Evaluation
Student Drawings

As one component of the Frederick Wireless Evaluation students across all grades and Academies 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, drawings have been collected from Frederick students in March 2007, October 2007 and 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 studies3. 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, the final collection of student drawings has not yet been carried out, the initial analyses of pre and post drawings has been carried for the 6th and 7th grade student populations and can be accessed HERE.

We have found that with minimal training the drawing categories and codes exhibit both inter-rater and intra-rater reliability so that the codes assigned to the drawings are stable across different raters and over time. Before the two researchers commenced coding a recent collection of student drawings, 30 drawings from a previous 1:1 study were randomly selected and coded by both researchers in a an effort to document inter-rater reliability. Across the two raters, the inter-rater reliability estimate was slightly greater than 95%. The research team considers this more than sufficient agreement for the current study and moved forward with coding the Frederick drawings.

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.
  3. Bebell, D. (2006). Three Year Evaluation Plan for the Wireless Learning Initiative at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. Boston, MA: Boston College, Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative.