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Susan Moore May 22, 2013 AEET 780 Critique 1 Larkin, K. (2012). You Use! I Use! We Use!

Questioning the Orthodoxy of One-to-One Computing in Primary Schools. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 44(2), 101-120. Retrieved May 17, 2013 from Introduction You Use! I Use! We Use! Questioning the Orthodoxy of One-to-One Computing in Primary Schools is a research article that presents findings that demonstrate one-to-one (1:1) computing in schools may not be the most effective way to integrate technology in the classroom, contrary to what many other studies suggest. 1:1 computing is the term used in schools when students each have access to a mobile computing device, such as a laptop, iPad, or other piece of technology to utilize daily. This study examines data collected from a yearlong research project in 2009 in Australia. Four classrooms with 11-13 year old students with varying ratios of netbook availability as well as varied available time were analyzed. This study sought to answer the question what ways did varying the ratio of netbook availability from 1:1 to 1:2 or varying the pattern of availability from 5 days per week for 6 weeks versus 3 days per week for 10 weeks affect student usage in terms of quantum (as a ratio of available time) and modes of use? The project used Acer Aspire One Netbooks as the mobile, wireless devices used. The software on the netbooks was similar to those already used in the classroom, so it was additional training for neither the teachers nor students was necessary. Furthermore, both teachers and students had a substantial amount of access to similar computers in prior years, which is why they were selected for this specific study. The study was conducted with four different classrooms: Class A practiced 1:1 five days/week; Class B practiced 1:2 three days/week; Class C practiced 1:2 five days/week; and Class D practiced 1:1 three days/week. Classes A and C, which utilized the individual computing devices five days a week, were observed for 6 weeks, while Classes B and D were studied for 10 weeks to make up for the shorter amount of time during the week. The four classes demonstrate the combinations of full- and part-access, both full- and parttime. The students in these classrooms utilized the netbooks normally, as directed by their teacher, with the purpose of measuring the amount of time spent on them as well as the effectiveness of the netbooks in each situation. Methods of data collection for this study included classroom observations, interviews, forums, surveys, and data-logging software installed on the netbooks. Together, these methods collected anecdotal data as well as recorded data based on actual usage. The findings indicate that Classes B and C, which both implemented 1:2 computing, used the netbooks an average of 10 hours more than Class A and 13 hours more than Class D. As stated in the article, these findings suggest students used the devices for up to 30% longer in the classroom that shared the devices than in either of the classrooms that had access to the whole set. This suggests that the better investment lies in the 1:2 ratio. In all classes, overall use of the netbooks was low, with an average of less than an hour of use documented for each daily. As one could predict, this could prove that availability affects usage patterns. In all classes, netbook usage involved a variety of tasks, including those that incorporated research, collaboration, production, etc. In addition, it is surprising that the teachers also saw more positive results from the 1:2 ratio. One teacher even stated that having a 1:1 ratio in the classroom could lead to a deterioration of her teaching, as students independent working time will dramatically increase, while the interaction between students and teacher will most likely decrease. The classrooms with 1:1, where half the class was using the netbooks individually while the other half of the class was completing a non-netbook activity proved more beneficial as well. Teachers stated that 1:2 seemed to increase motivation among students, and taught vital communication skills that are the foundation of collaboration. Students also claimed to favor working with partners, and

some students even commented that friendships were made and communication between their peers as well as their teacher improved. Due to these findings, the teachers from these four classes were forced to reexamine their views on teacher control, teacher support, student involvement, and student affiliation all in all, their entire educational pedagogy. This study yielded a variety of implications. While it is obvious that 1:2 seemed more effective in this experiment, this study also demonstrated that student engagement and small group teaching is productive. However, the study shows that implementing 1:2 or 1:1 is limiting as the workload for teachers is increased while the opportunity to conference with students is decreased. After comparing and analyzing these pros and cons, the article states there are greater benefits in terms of interaction among students, and between the students and their teacher, in a 1:2 pattern of access than when the students use the netbooks individually in the 1:1 pattern. The 1:2 model, as opposed to the 1:1 model, contains financial as well as educational advantages. In the school utilized in this research project alone, the decision to implement 1:2 instead of 1:1 yielded a $300,000 difference. Overall, it can be noted that providing teachers with a class-set of mobile devices encourages one static pattern of usage: each student works individually on the tasks set by the teacher. Teachers are compelled to use all of the netbooks at the same time due to the availability, even in situations where group or partner work would be more beneficial. This yields a negative impact on the classroom as social activity is at a minimum, self-directed learning is difficult to encourage, and the netbooks are left unused for large periods of time during the week. Those classrooms that only had half of the amount of mobile devices, or followed a 1:2 model showed increased levels of student involvement, teacher support, and social activity. Collaboration was valued, along with the opportunity to work with the mobile devices, both in partners and individually. In addition, the student-to-teacher ratio is decreased, especially in 1: 1 environments. This was a very generalized study that only focused on the ratio of mobile devices per student on a weekly basis. Multiple projects could branch out from this study, including examining specific differences of tasks performed in each ratio situation. Also, further studies could examine high school students, and follow them into the university environment to see whether the opportunity to use mobile devices so early will result in effecting these students when placed in more advanced levels of education. Personally, I would want to further this study by examining the effect of different mobile devices at the 1:2 ratio. For example, I would conduct a similar experiment, with the independent variables changed to iPads, laptops, and E-Textbooks. All would be given to classes for a set amount of time in the 1:2 ratio to determine if one type of mobile device is more effective than the others in an educational setting. Critique When searching for research articles pertaining to the effectiveness of 1:1 use of mobile devices in education, I was very surprised to stumble upon this article, due to its purpose of disagreeing with the current 1:1 orthodoxy. However, instead of simply disagreeing with the effectiveness of the 1:1 theory, it was interesting to see that the results of the study yielded that 1:2 actually includes a variety of beneficial aspects. The research question is clearly stated at the beginning of the article, and the introduction is especially thorough in explaining the purpose for and background behind the study. The language and vocabulary used is specific, accessible, and appropriate for educators, parents, and others interested in the implementation of technology in the classroom. It is not too scientific, yet definite enough to demonstrate an advanced level of research and education in the field. However, from the very beginning the author makes his stance clear as he states this article argues that one-to-one computing is the only appropriate means of providing substantial computing access to school students. Using the term argues sets the tone of the rest of the article, as the reader feels that the author not only proved that 1:2 includes numerous benefits, but that the author feels very negatively about the 1:1 ratio used in schools. This negative mood is set early, and continues throughout the article. Limitations are not specifically stated, however language and tone used by the author creates a limiting atmosphere

throughout. Due to this vocabulary and mood during the article, readers are clear regarding the knowledge that has been claimed through this study at the very beginning. While the tone used to express the specific findings and viewpoints remains negative throughout, the author does an excellent job presenting a literature review that is fairy unbiased and presents views both in favor of and against 1:1 computing. In addition, the pros and cons for both are examined on both the learning and financial domain. The literature review very clearly explains the 1:1 orthodox being challenged from the very beginning, and is later clearly restated in the conclusion. The information presented under the sub-heading Conceptual Framework also includes information on a variety of types of technology used in the classroom, as well as analyzes the Activity Theory to investigate the development of teachers technical and pedagogical skills and knowledge using technology in the classroom. As I begin to examine how technology can be integrated in the classroom while implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), my initial thought would be to give each student their own personal device. However, after reading this article, and certainly after conducting more research on CCSS, it is clear that the use of personal mobile devices in classrooms are evident in CCSS, especially since these standards claims to reflect the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers to compete successfully in the global economy (Implementing, 2012). What must be examined further is the appropriate ratio to achieve full potential. Conclusion As a teacher at a school that is currently integrating more and more technology in the classroom, I am very interested to read about the true effectiveness of mobile devices in the hands of the students on a daily basis. Prior to this article, I was also on the bandwagon that believed the more the better, meaning the more devices we have available in each classroom, the more technology will be used and the more developed my students would become as 21st Century students. However, this article allowed me to reevaluate my thoughts on the matter, and displayed many other effects (some rather negative) of having the 1:1 computing ratio in the classroom. I do appreciate this article for its ability to go aga inst the current orthodoxy, and especially value the results that demonstrate the effectiveness of 1:2. The article is rather limiting in terms of the negative, attacking tone that is maintained throughout the article in response to the 1:1, but the negativity is fully supported throughout with facts and results. This study was extremely useful to me as I am currently teaching with 5 iPads available to my students on a daily basis. The results of this study helped me see the collaboration skills that my students are currently developing, and allows me to acknowledge that they would not be developing them if they each had individual access all the time. Also, while I am limited to completely relating to the recommended 1:2 ratio, with 5 iPads I am able to allow students to work with partners on the iPads, while the remaining half of the class can acquire small group instruction and conferences with me. This study allowed me to appreciate the technology that I currently have, and has caused me to think through some of my lessons when I could have been utilizing my time more wisely during lessons that included the use of iPads, instead of wishing that I had more available. As previously stated, this article refocused my opinion on the most effective ratio of mobile computing devices in the classroom. In accordance with my own experience, I am curious about the effectiveness of a 1:5 ratio, and the success of group work conducted with each device. Also, I am interested in noting whether iPads, or other tablets would yield similar data as the netbooks used in this research study. Overall this was a very interesting article to critique, considering its contrary opinion to most other ideas and theories regarding the ratio of mobile computing devices in the classroom.

References Implementing the Common Core State Standards. (2012). Common Core State Standards Initiative. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from key-points-in-english-language-arts.