Mobile technology in the classroom is a popular topic among education researchers as schools explore ways to keep up with the latest technology in education while keeping their students engaged in the learning process. A one-to-one laptop initiative instituted at St. Louis Catholic High School last fall was the perfect research vehicle on this topic for a group of professors at McNeese State University — Dustin Hebert, assistant professor of education professions; Brett Welch, associate professor of education professions; Jan Broussard, assistant professor of education professions; and Sharon VanMetre, professor of education professions. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 9:57 AM
Mobile technology in the classroom is a popular topic among education researchers as schools explore ways to keep up with the latest technology in education while keeping their students engaged in the learning process.
A one-to-one laptop initiative instituted at St. Louis Catholic last fall was the perfect research vehicle on this topic for a group of professors at McNeese State University — Dustin Hebert, assistant professor of education professions; Brett Welch, associate professor of education professions; Jan Broussard, assistant professor of education professions; and Sharon VanMetre, professor of education professions.
“St. Louis Catholic High School has been working with laptops this year. One-to-one laptop initiatives such as this constitute one of the emerging dimensions of research as P-12 schools are working toward maximizing learning through innovation and creation,” Hebert said. “Providing such technology at students’ fingertips at every moment of the instructional day creates an environment for this to flourish.”
Hebert contacted St. Louis President Deborah Frank about following the initiative for two years, and she was enthusiastic about the collaboration.
All students and faculty received Fujitsu tablets before the 2012 fall semester and attended training sessions to learn the tablets’ features and programs, Frank said.
“This initiative allows us to use technology in teaching and learning to help us prepare our students with the skills they will need to be productive in the future, and the McNeese research study will help provide us with the necessary benchmarks to determine our success,” she said. “This collaboration is a win-win situation for us and McNeese.”
Frank said the initiative is a significant venture for St. Louis that involves student achievement and motivation, instruction, fiscal resources, personnel and infrastructure.
“In financial terms, this initiative is a significant investment in technology for us and having a mechanism to determine the return on that investment will be of interest to all parties involved with the initiative,’’ Frank said.
Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, the research focus is on the processes, successes and challenges presented during the first year of implementation using observations in the classrooms and interviews and surveys of faculty, students and leaders.
“Our findings will then be presented before this school year ends, and we hope that the research we have conducted will help the school community gauge the success of this initiative to date and set goals for its future,” Hebert said.
The 2013-2014 school year would focus on examining the instructional applications of laptops within each academic discipline of the school’s curriculum.
“Because of this significant investment, the school leaders are looking to set goals for the 2013-2014 school year of what measurable outcomes they hope faculty and students will accomplish relevant to technology use,” Hebert said.
He said today’s students have been using this technology for recreation for years and should not have many problems discovering how it can be used in their learning.
For faculty, the technology provides the opportunity to expand instructional techniques that would not be possible otherwise. It also enables them to provide different and even greater interaction with students.
“With the technology tools now available at St. Louis, teachers can design lessons that allow more differentiated learning options that may engage students more than traditional instruction would,” he said.
Posted By: Dustin Hebert On: 2/26/2013
Title: Response to Melvin
Melvin--The research is being conducted at St. Louis because, to our knowledge, St. Louis is the only school in the Lake Charles area that has implemented this type of initiative where every student carries a laptop throughout the school day. If other area schools are implementing this type of project, we would appreciate your notifying us of which schools. Thank you.
Posted By: Melvin On: 2/19/2013
Title: Why go to St Louis with this
Why are these laptops and the research being done at St. Louis. This research is a joke because it is at the richest big money school where kids have all the advantages. Why is it not being conducted at a minority school , maybe because it is all a set up and for research to be good it has to be done at a normal school. I guess they were scared to come to any other school. Come in an do your thing in the real world down here and then you can say your results is good. Weak I say . You pick big money school to do big money thing.