Warschauer, M. (2006) Laptops and literacy: learning in the wireless classroom. Teachers
Collage Press, New York, 178pp.
The goal of this book was to explore the implications of one-to-one computing on literacy in the United States classroom. The author conducted a 2-year study of laptop and literacy practices in 10 diverse kindergarten though twelfth grade public schools located in both California and Maine, and evaluated the effectiveness of personal laptops within the context of literacy. Warschauer’s finding indicated that laptops have been successfully integrated into the classroom, however, the effectiveness of this technology is tied to teacher’s and administrator’s willingness to make a commitment to the cost and training needed to make this technology a transparent part of the classroom. Recent reports have indicated that laptops have not increased student scores on standardized test, and many schools that implemented one-to-one computing are abandoning the technology because of this and because of the costs of maintaining the technology. Warschauer states that laptops may not increase test scores, however, they are educationally imperative because they (1) mimic the realities of working in the “real world”, (2) “bring the wider world into the classroom and thus motivate and contextualize literacy practices” (p154), (3) introduce students to a multicultural perspective through the use of materials on the world-wide-web and, (4) facilitates the students abilities to create and share authentic documents.
Warschauer concludes that one-to-one computing increased
student engagement in most of the classes studied. He also states that the use of this technology can increase
students ability to think critically, analyze resources and study. Through the use of one-to-one computing
students are being better prepared for the situations that they will encounter
in the workforce. He also states that
access to computer will promote student’s innovation, flexibility, and ability to
communicate. In the science classroom,
wireless internet can allow access to original research. It can also be used to do simulation
laboratory experiments that are to complicated or long to do within the
traditional laboratory setting.
1. Using simulations to teach the predatory/prey cycle or natural selection.
2. Virtual dissections to study anatomy.
3. The creation of multi-media products as a part of research projects.
4. Access to a original research documents such as journals.
5. Test preparation (e.g., access to regents study tools online)6. The use of an internet portfolio so students can store and share their work.