Understanding how technology fits into the complex realities of classrooms is critical for designing programs that support technology in education, yet little is known about how laptop computers are being used in the classrooms of countries outside of Europe and North America. With funding from Intel, EDC is taking a closer look at how laptops are being used in classrooms on three different continents. Through case studies of successful, technology-rich classrooms in Argentina, Russia, and Korea, we are gaining insight into the many innovative ways that technology can be adapted to enhance teaching and increase learning in a wide variety of contexts.
The first case study focused on three schools that were part of a provincial education program in San Luis, Argentina. Todos los Chicos en la Red (All Kids Online) is a one-to-one laptop program that provides all students with computers as well as 24-hour access to the Internet from any point in their community. We found that teachers were adapting old practices to work in the technology-rich context in ways that were provoking some fundamental changes in the learning environment. Six impacts we observed were: increased efficiency in classroom management; increased access to educational resources, creating more time on task; increased student ownership of the learning process; interactive resources offering more frequent feedback to students; and more fluid communication among teachers, students, and parents.
CCT has completed its second case study of two schools in Russia, where teachers and students have access to laptops, interactive whiteboards, Internet, and classroom management software. Similar to what we found in Argentina, teachers are not wholly abandoning their old methods, but rather, the act of introducing new tools into their teaching repertoire has stimulated changes in established structures, routines, and relationships. The impacts of this successful ICT integration can be seen in classroom practice, student engagement, peer collaboration, assessment, and communication with parents. This, in turn, has shifted the dynamic between teachers and students and also has helped foster a more personalized and humanistic learning environment.
The report for Korea will be issued soon.