Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Article Critique

Article Critique Form

Directions: Read an empirical research article from the list in Blackboard about technology and education. Critique the article by answering the questions below. Make sure you read all of the assignment directions before beginning. Answer each question in your blog post for the week indicated. Be sure to type and number the question and then type your answer below it.

Type your response below each section.
  1. Provide the complete article title and author
    The title of the article is The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment. The authors of the article are; Kurt A. Suhr, David A. Hernandez, Douglas Grimes, and Mark Warschauer.
  1. State the intended audience. (What is empirical research and how does it help the classroom?)
    The intended audience is school districts who may be considering new technology for their schools. According to Penn State University Libraries (2013), “empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief”. Empirical research helps in the classroom because it comes from real life experiences. It takes into account if a particular technology works or doesn't work instead of who is trying to sell a particular product to the school system. It is simply about what is shown to be effective and what isn't.

  1. What is/are the research question/questions or hypothesis/hypotheses?
    The research questions or hypotheses are; Were there significant differences in the total ELA score changes in the California Standards Test (CST) over the two-year period from third grade to fifth grade between the one-to-one laptop group and the non-laptop group, after controlling for other factors, Were there significant differences in the six subtests used to compute those total ELA scores for the same two groups, Can participation in a one-to-one laptop program be used to predict changes in ELA total and subtest scores over the two year period from third grade to fifth grade.

  1. Describe the subject (participants) and the procedures (methods) used by the researcher(s)?
      The treatment group for this study consisted of all 54 fourth-grade students who participated in the one-to-one laptop program. This study is based on a student-level analysis, treatment group students from the two schools were considered together as one group. The control group consisted of 54 fourth-grade students who were placed in non-laptop classes in ESD. The control group had some computer access, but the one-to-one laptop group or the treatment group received extensive computer access. The researchers compared the control group and the treatment group to see the effects of the laptops.
  1. What were the conclusions of the researchers? Do you agree or disagree with the conclusions? Support your position.

The conclusions of the researchers were that laptop programs have a strong allure to educational administrators when is comes to promoting the kinds of thinking, learning, and creativity required in the 21st century. Roblyer and Doering (2013) states that, “skills that students need in the future will focus more on “learning to learn” skills, such as thinking creatively and reasoning effectively, than on memorizing facts, definitions, and rules”. When taking this into account, the use of laptops is very beneficial to children despite any research findings. I believe that the laptops promote thinking and reasoning. They promote these things daily while teaching children how to use a major form of technology in today's every changing world which relies on technology. Many of these children will only be exposed to this technology in the classroom. The major question for researchers was; How does this effect standardized testing. For this question, the answer was maybe not what they had hoped. The laptops had only a small effect on standardized testing. This is because the standardized tests themselves are taken on paper. There is emerging literature that suggest that laptop use over multiple years can have a small positive effect on literacy test score outcomes. While there is the possibility that the problem lies on one being on computer and one being on paper, there is also the possibility that the two contain different material all together. The laptop is not a cure all solution, but rather a form of technology that offers benefits in the areas of literary response and analysis along with writing strategies. In short, despite the effects on standardized testing, I believe Roblyer and Doering said it best. The future relies on skills that these laptops can teach.
  1. What suggestions for further research do the authors suggest? What other suggestions for future research would you suggest?
    The article suggest further research with larger sample sizes, more diverse student demographics, longitudinal evaluation, a wider array of outcome measures including both those taken on paper and computer and those involving both standardized tests and alternative forms of assessment, and random assignments. They article explains that these things will help shed light on the effects of laptop use on literacy and learning. For future research, I would suggest doing studies that do not include standardized testing at all. I think that different aspects of learning should be tested along with abstract learning topics such as reasoning ability. While some of these things may not be directly related to subject areas, they are indirectly related. Math relies strongly on reasoning ability. I think that the sub categories would be very interesting to test.

            Suhr, K.A., Hernandez, D.A., Grimes, D., & Warschauer M. (January 2010).Laptops and Fourth Grade Literacy: Assisting the Jump over the Fourth-Grade Slump. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, Volume 9, number 5, p. 6-4. doi:http:jtla.org
            Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating Education Technology into Teaching.   
     United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter one in the textbook talks about one-to-one computing. Roblyer and Doeling (2013) describe one-to-one computing as allocating a school computer for each student. It says that this is gaining attention and schools are faced with increased costs due to replacing their aging computer systems. The problem is these laptops do not have clearly been established to help students. Many educators do not want to cut other programs in order to fund one-to-one computing. As the article discusses a large deciding factor on laptops is the ability to improve standardized testing scores. I believe that until standardized testing is not so heavily relied upon, laptops may not happen in every school. I do believe that when these tests are not so readily relied upon, students over-all academic success will improve with the use of one-to-one computing. Below is a video that I found interesting about one-to-one computing.
This is my tweet for this week and includes another video on the topic.


  1. I chose the same article. I think that's a great suggestion that they shouldn't just test the students on standardized testing. I never even thought about that. I agree with you that they are too relied upon. I'm not sure if that will change anytime in the near future, but I hope that it does!

  2. Camille, I never thought about testing the subgroups. Your video is interesting, I can tell that the children believe that the one-to-one computing works and keep their interests. I still think that it depends on the area it is used in. There is no one fit all approach for every school.