Home' Independence : Independence Vol 35 No 2 Oct 2010 Contents 62 Independence Vol 35 No 2 Oct 10
Prior to the implementation of the
1:1 laptop program, a survey of staff
at Aquinas indicated that they would
overwhelmingly use computers with
students for storing information, accessing
information, presenting information and
typing assignments and course work.
Ninety-two per cent of teachers were of
the belief that computers can be used to
improve student learning with classes.
Staff also indicated that setting up wikis
and blogs were helpful in promoting
further class interaction when off campus.
It was also clear that staff would like to
make more use of computers within their
specific learning area with their students.
All students from Year 5 (Junior School)
and Year 7 (Middle School) also
completed an initial survey questionnaire.
Further to this a sample of students from
both year levels was interviewed in Term
1 of 2010. Students were invited to detail
their own thoughts and feelings about the
1:1 laptop program. Initial data indicate
that students find work interesting and
make an effort. They also feel comfortable
using ICT (see table).
Term 4 will see the second phase of data
collection take place and provide further
information about the impact of the
implementation of the 1:1 laptop program.
While it is too early to make assumptions
about the effectiveness of the program,
there are early indications that access to
laptops facilitates the implementation
of inquiry based methods as opposed to
memorisation and practice, as well as
more interdisciplinary approaches that
value cooperative learning, confirming
earlier research (Fairman, 2004).
Dean of Junior School, Aquinas College
Steven Males is undertaking the research project
on Aquinas’ laptop program as part of his PhD
program at the University of Notre Dame,
Alberta Education (2006) One-to-one mobile
computing: Literature review. Available at http://
Browett, J.E . and Spencer, A. (2006) Teaching
languages in the primary school: Examples from
current practice. Carlton South, Vic: Curriculum
Fairman, J. (2004) Trading roles: Teachers and
students learn with technology. Maine Learning
Technology Initiative Research Report No 3.
University of Maine Education Policy Research
Lei, J. and Zhao, Y. (2008) One-to-one
computing: What does it bring to schools?
Journal of Educational Computing Research,
Wilkes, J. (2006) Boys, ICTs and engagement.
Teacher Learning Network, 13(3):42-45.
Brisbane Girls Grammar
School, Brisbane, Qld
Brisbane Girls Grammar School is a day
school for girls with 1166 students in
Years 8 to 12. Principal: Dr Amanda Bell.
The emerging capabilities in digital
technologies are pointing beyond current
1:1 computing towards a much more
It is not hard to envisage, as futurists
predict (Quitney-Anderson & Rainie
2010), that by 2020 most people won’t
be working with software running on
a general purpose PC but instead will
work in internet-based applications such
as Google Docs, and in applications run
It is this trend in digital technology
development that led Brisbane Girls
Grammar School to adopt what we
call a hybrid digital model to assist
learning and teaching. This model is
more flexible, adaptable to technology
change and representative of technology
usage in contemporary society. We
believe it puts Girls Grammar in the best
position to take advantage of the lower
costs and greater capacities of emerging
Currently our hybrid model utilises a
combination of desktops in computer
laboratories; mobile banks of laptops
that are booked by teachers and moved
around the school into classrooms or
designated learning spaces customised for
specific projects; and computing devices
of all kinds to meet specific needs. For
example we have netbooks for recording
and analysing data in the science
laboratories or on field trips, and iPads
for newspaper subscriptions in the library.
In total about 1100 digital devices are
available for student use.
ICT in teaching and learning
The use of digital devices in teaching
and learning at Brisbane Girls Grammar
STUDENTS’ FEELINGS TOWARDS LAPTOP USE
I am comfortable using my laptop for class work
The work I complete using my laptop is important. 73%
The activities using laptops are interesting
Using a laptop allows me to tackle complicated
I make an effort to complete activities involving
I make sure I am at school when we are working
on activities using a laptop
I am given a choice to use a laptop for school work
I use a laptop outside of school
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