TERC Researchers Author Study on Ubiquitous Computing in the High School Science Classroom

January 12, 2010



CAMBRIDGE, MA–TERC’s Brian Drayton, Joni Falk, Rena Stroud, Kathryn Hobbs and Jim Hammerman have co-authored “After Installation: Ubiquitous Computing and High School Science in Three Experienced, High-Technology Schools” for a Special Edition issue of The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment(JLTA). The Special Edition issue focuses on the educational impacts of one-to-one computing initiatives in technology-rich classroom environments. Little research has been published on high-technology schools beyond the first implementation phase, and this study provides a forum for researchers to present empirical evidence on the effectiveness of 1:1 computing models in tech-savvy secondary environments with experienced technical support staffs.

Drayton, Falk, Stroud, Hobbs, and Hammerman tracked the impact of ubiquitous computing in the science classrooms of three New England high schools over the course of three years —one an urban high school with the goal of student empowerment supported by technological proficiency; another a rural high school striving for increased accountability among teachers and students; and the third a private high school whose innovative curriculum uses technology as an aid to differentiated instruction for students of different abilities in the same classroom. The TERC report analyzes the individual and collective “positives” in these 1:1 computing classrooms (e.g. skill building, increased access to cutting-edge information, visualizations, and additional curricular content), the challenges faced (e.g. time constraints, evolving/changing web resources, the quality of technical and curricular support) and describes ways in which pedagogical philosophy, school culture, and professional development can foster or inhibit the positive impact of new technologies in high school science.

Download the article here.