• An Activity Theory Exploratory of the Differential Impact on Students' and Professors' Experiences in How Laptops are Used for Instruction

      Niyikora, Jean Pierre (2010-09-22)
      This exploratory study examined the differential impact of a laptop initiative in two general education classrooms during the winter term session of the 2009-2010 academic year at Midwest institution of higher learning. Beyond observing these two classrooms, a total of 12 student volunteers and two instructors were selected from the laptop using and non-laptop using classrooms for focus group interviews. In total, the researcher conducted 22 classroom observations per each class. Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) was used as a tool to analyze different tensions that occurred within or between different components of the laptop activity for both classrooms. The researcher also collected evidence to explain the justification for using laptops in the classroom, the benefits, disadvantages, and the reason behind expressed reluctance to applying laptops in instruction. Findings from qualitative data revealed that students from the laptop using class appeared more enthusiastic about having a laptop for classroom activities than students in the non-laptop using classroom. The factors which contributed to such success were the instructor‟s motivation, the integration of the interactive software (DyKnow), tablets, and a well-organized pedagogy. The finding for this investigation have implications for educators, instructors, researchers, policymakers, and are intended to assist institutions of higher education especially those passionate to integrate laptop in learning.