Teacher's Web Host Logo

Teacher's Web Host

The best little test generators on the web!

David Jones is the proprietor of Innovation Assessments. He has been a public school teacher in New York State since 1991. He holds permanent teaching certifications for French 7-12, Social Studies 7-12, and Elementary (N-6). He taught French for thirteen years, then switched to teaching social studies in 2004. His teaching experience also includes other related subjects and computer courses elementary through college level. Since the early 1990s David has had an interest in computers and computer programming. He is a certified computer network technician (CompTIA Network+ Certified) and has taught high school and community college level computer courses.

Blog Contents

Site Features List

  • Content Management System

    Post links to lessons, resources, assessments, etc. in the playlist for each of your classes. Re-order the playlist in any order you would like. Hide and reveal playlist elements as you need them. Easily build an entire course and show-hide units as they are needed. This is a full content management system suitable for teaching a complete course online.

  • With Google Classroom

    Import students from Google Classroom so they can quickly log in to TeachersWebHost.com using their Google credentials. Post links to assessments and activities to your Google Classroom in four clicks. Post links to scoresheets and digital classroom badges to Google Classroom. Share Google docs, sheets, and slides right in TeachersWebHost.com class playlists. TeachersWebHost.com is the perfect companion for Google products, having been developed with classes in a 1:1 environment using ChromeBooks.

  • Test Generators

    Full-featured multiple-choice test generators include: practice apps, richly detailed item analysis, automated progress monitoring charts, security to impede cheating, and efficient management apps for test question banks which you can download and share with others. Comprehension app creates auto-corrected multiple-choice assessment on either a reading, a sound file, and/or an embedded video.

  • Writing Assessment

    Mark up student writing errors right in the text. The writing app tabulates error rates for over a dozen common types of errors and automatically generates progress charts and item analyses. An ever-growing collection of grading rubrics for all writing types across K-12 grade levels is fully integrated in each task and assessment report, making it obvious to students why their work scored as it did.

  • Digital Classroom Badges

    Automate badge awards for assessments based on criteria you set. Create badge-award offers so students can exchange badges for some reward in your classroom. Maintain an organized library of badges for your students to reward achievement and/or grant permissions.

  • Running Records

    Students can record themselves reading right through their browser. Teachers can assess their student's recording of text using standard running record markup. The app automatically adds results to a progress monitoring chart for each student. This app was develped in consultation with two NYS certified reading teachers.

  • Progress Monitoring Charts

    Automated or manual progress monitoring charts enrich our teaching by bringing us data to inform decision-making. Line charts, bar charts, reading charts are all available and can be integrated in custom reports.

  • Moderated Online Discussion

    Moderate online discussion forums that have integrated grading systems. Apply choice of rubric to student contributions to discussion threads. Students can practice good discussion etiquette and exercise their logical reasoning abilities in moderated online discussion for debatable subjects. The forums can also be useful places to share resources in a class project, for example, witness affadavits in a class mock trial or resource sharing in a group research project.

  • Report Generator

    Developed in consultation with a NYS certified reading teacher, the report generator lets busy teachers create customized reports for progress monitoring or just letters home. Construct form letters with elements customized for individual families. Embed progress charts on reports with your school letterhead.

  • Classroom Inventory

    Streamline textbook loan management and classroom inventory. Once the textbook inventory is installed, students can borrow classroom materials and sign them out from the TeachersWebHost.com control panel using single-use permission codes provided by teacher.

  • Student Activity Tracking

    Students can sign in and out of your classroom using an app on the control panel that saves student in and out times to database. Every student activity on the web site is logged in an extensive audit. The auditor app notes activities like login, startup of an activity, page view, assessment scoring, etc. It's important to hold students accountable and the auditor can be used to verify accounts students give of their online work.

  • Public Web Site and Blog

    Your account comes with a "Front Page" which you can customize. Each teacher is assigned a "virtual classroom number" by the system. Your web site is TeachersWebHost.com/Room/[number]. The front page comes with a blog and space for whatever you would like.






Discounts Available on Full Access Licenses: 10% off 5 licenses, 15% off 10 licenses


The Proprietor's Blog

1:1 Laptops in Grades 4-12, Literature Review, Part 2

David Jones, 2018-04-11 02:32:05

[Continued from 1:1 Laptops in Grades 4-12, Literature Review, Part 1]

It is clear that this is the proper direction for further research in the area of computer use in schools. One might begin by making a list of things we could not do before and so left as undeveloped skills or delayed for higher education. This is probably the most important implication of any of this body of research reviewed here. All three papers posit these as desirable outcomes of 1:1 laptop initiatives, but no paper reviewed here systematically analyzes these to a degree that a measurement may be established of some kind. Higgins et al. notes these skills are resistant to accurate measurement. Standardized test scores lend themselves well to statistical analysis.

Student engagement and motivation emerges as the second most studied theme in the literature. Attitude surveys supported the popularity of 1:1 laptops among students and teachers (Suhr et al., 2010, p. 8). However, there is no magic bullet. There is only moderate support for the idea that 1:1 laptops really increased engagement and motivation on a long-term basis (Sell et al., 2012, p.21). Once they cease to be new and become part of “work”, the novelty wears off. Laptops alone are not enough, though, and echoing conclusions of Weston and Bain regarding computers as cognitive tools, Sell et al. note that “student engagement is improved when 1:1 technology is supplemental to systematic improvements in the teaching and learning environment rather than as a stand-alone initiative” (2012, p.21).

Teaching practice and professional development is easily the third place in development in the literature. Skillful practitioners can bring the power of computing to the benefit of their charges. (Bebell & Kay, 2010, p. 48). Shapley et al. note that “[t]eacher “buy-in” for Technology Immersion is critically important because students’ school experiences with technology are largely dictated by their teachers” (2010, p.24). To integrate 1:1 laptop programs into the curriculum, teachers need to possess these skills such that they can model their use and impart them to their students. The usual staff development system in many schools consists of workshops provided at infrequent intervals through the year. Many have criticized this model and being inadequate to build the kind of skills that are earned through repetition, such as computer skills. The old workshop model is ineffective (Drayton et al., 2010, p.50). If schools are to make the investment in the equipment, they might better commit to adequate staff training as well. (Sell et al. , 2012, p. 34). Teachers have a great deal of autonomy and the unwilling can undermine district-wide initiatives with impunity. Beyond general hints at the importance of staff development on 1:1 laptop initiatives, none of these studies provide extensive suggestions for effective staff development, since their focus was student achievement. All of the studies make ample use of teacher surveys. Many examine what teachers are doing with laptops, though such analyses are somewhat superficial and limited to lists of software titles and their frequency of use.

Rigorous statistical methodology has not always been applied in these studies and Higgins et al. (2012) notes that is may not always be possible. Although a deep statistical analysis of these papers is outside of the scope of the current work (and, for that matter, the expertise of its author), it is noteworthy that only five of the eleven studies apply a measure of effect size in their calculations. Naturally, being a meta-analysis, the phrase “effect size” appears in Higgins et al. no fewer than 137 times. Most of the rest are silent on this. Effect size is an important statistical tool for estimating whether a treatment or intervention is likely caused by something we did or by some other variable. In social science, and in education in particular, this is absolutely important because of the near impossibility of creating true experimental conditions where all variables external to the study are truly controlled for. Without making effect size calculations, it is hard to point to a change in student standardized tests scores as being definitively due to 1:1 laptop distribution and not to some other factor. Bebell & Kay (2010) deal with this effectively, for example, by examining other factors such as prior performance on standardized tests and socio-economic status. That study was not able to identify 1:1 laptops as the sole causal factor in achievement scores. Prior test scores and socio-economic situation prevailed, as always, as the most highly predictive of student success. Bebell & Kay remark that test scores really only increased in English Language Arts as a result of 1:1 laptop programs (2010 p. 44). This is echoed in other studies (Gulek & Demirtas, 2005, p.21).

Most of these studies reviewed here are composed in an objective style with no particular bias. Some, like Gulek & Demirtas and Silvernail et al., come off with an enthusiasm for their results that may speak to bias. Some studies, like Bebell & Kay and Higgins et al., were contracted outside the school system to evaluate a 1:1 program. The meta-analyses are of particularly high quality in objectivity and scope.

By far the most interesting study was Weston & Bain. It stands out from the rest because it challenges some of the premises upon which the others are based. They set out to address criticisms of 1:1 laptop programs by bringing under scrutiny the very premises of objections. Weston & Bain call upon the reader to reconsider the very question and to regard computers as inseparable from the process rather than as something foreign. They hold up as model other professions which adopt technology and seamlessly integrate it into their work as a tool. They “raise questions about what classrooms and schools need to look and be like in order to realize the advantages of 1:1 computing” and present a “theoretical vision for self-organizing schools in which laptop computers or other such devices are essential tools” (2010 p. 1). They note that in schools where technology has become de rigueur part of the daily routine, “if asked about the value of using a laptop computer in school, each would struggle to see the relevance of such a question because computers have become integrated into what they do” and that “[w]hen technology enables, empowers, and accelerates a profession’s core transactions, the distinctions between computers and professional practice evaporate”. The laptops are cognitive tools. (2010, pp.10, 11, 13). This is the concept to watch in IT and education.

There is broad consensus that 1:1 laptop programs improve student writing measurably. There is also a long list of potential benefits that have yet to be measured. One good reason for 1:1 laptops in this digital age is that we are in the digital age. Students today will be interacting in the world using such devices. Their formation should reflect that. No study, after all, reports that 1:1 decreases student achievement in any area. In the areas of student engagement and motivation, the common sense prediction is borne out by the assessment: there is increased engagement when the laptops are new, giving way to normal levels once they become more commonplace. Regarding 1:1 laptops and teachers, studies show great diversity in teacher response based on many factors such as school culture, personal regard for information technology, and skill as a teacher. Laptops don’t make better teachers and skilled practitioners benefit most from the new cognitive tools. Studies concur that the independent nature of the teaching profession makes the classroom teacher an important part of and 1:1 initiative with the ability to make or break the program and that professional development of the traditional bi-annual workshop variety will not suffice. Digital devices are become increasingly ubiquitous in every aspect of life and this is promoted by their decreasing cost, miniaturization, and increasing usefulness. Who would not spend $250 to improve a student’s performance? The measurable increased achievement brought about in student writing is enough on its own to merit a 1:1 laptop program.

Original Paper, 2016

References

Bebell, D., & Kay, R. (2010). One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative. The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/view/1607.

Drayton, B., Falk, J.K., Stroud, R., Hobbs, K., & Hammerman, J. (2010). After Installation: Ubiquitous Computing and High School Science in Three Experienced, High-Technology Schools. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(3). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ873677.pdf.

Gulek, J. C. & Demirtas, H. (2005). Learning with technology: The impact of laptop use on student achievement. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 3(2). Retrieved 13 March 2016 from http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/view/1655.

Higgins, S., Xiao, Z. and Katsipataki, M. (2012 Nov.). The Impact of Digital Technology on Learning: A Summary for the Education Endowment Foundation. Durham University. Retrieved 12 March 2016 from https://v1.educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/The_Impact_of_Digital_Technology_on_Learning_-_Executive_Summary_%282012%29.pdf.

Ingram, D., Willcutt, J., Jordan, K. (2008). Stillwater Area Public Schools Laptop Initiative Evaluation Report. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. University of MN. Retrieved 13 March 2016 from http://www.cehd.umn.edu/carei/publications/documents/StillwaterReportFINAL.pdf.

Lemke, C., Coughlin, E., & Reifsneider, D. (2009). Technology in schools: What the research says: An update. Culver City, CA: Commissioned by Cisco. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from https://www.cisco.com/web/IN/solutions/strategy/assets/pdf/tech_schools_09_research.pdf.

Sell, R., Cornelius-White, J., Chang, C., Mclean, A., and Roworth, W. (2012 April 30). A Meta-Synthesis of Research on 1:1 Technology Initiatives in K-12 Education. Ozarks Educational Research Initiative Institute for School Improvement Missouri State University. Retrieved 12 March 2016 from https://education.missouristate.edu/assets/clse/Final_Report_of_One-to-One_Meta-Synthesis__April_2012_.pdf.

Shapley, K.S., Sheehan, D., Maloney, C., & Caranikas-Walker, F. (2010). Evaluating the Implementation Fidelity of Technology Immersion and its Relationship with Student Achievement. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(4). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ873678.pdf.

Silvernail, D. and Gritter A. (2008). Maine's Middle School Laptop Program: Creating Better Writers. Maine Education Plicy Institute. University of Soutern Maine. Retrieved 17 March 2016 from http://maine.gov/mlti/resources/Impact_on_Student_Writing_Brief.pdf.


Suhr, K.A., Hernandez, D.A., Grimes, D., & Warschauer, M. (2010). Laptops and Fourth-Grade Literacy: Assisting the Jump over the Fourth-Grade Slump. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(5). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/download/1610/1459.

Weston, M.E. & Bain, A. (2010). The End of Techno-Critique: The Naked Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(6). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/download/1611/1458.

TeachersWebHost.com is a suite of assessment applications for teachers and tutors.

Innovation Assessments, Queensbury, New York

    About    How To    Features    Support    Payment    Badges    Blog   

© 2018