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The digital horizons: Laptops for teachers' policy initiative: Impacts and consequences

This article draws from the findings of the secondary school Digital Horizons: Laptops for Teachers research study, to discuss the impact of a policy tool intended to assist teachers use information and communication technologies (ICT) for administration, communication, collaboration, lesson planning and preparation, as well as for classroom lessons themselves. The results from a national questionnaire, focus group and case study evaluation indicate that secondary teachers are making more use of the laptops for communication with colleagues, reporting to parents, and the development of classroom materials than for use in the classroom for teaching and learning. Teacher commentary indicates that school technological infrastructure and access to professional development both constrain and enable their use of their laptops. Drawing on Engelbart’s notion of improvement infrastructure we discuss factors that have the potential to accelerate the integration of the laptop into teachers’ professional lives. Analysis suggests that these factors include school and departmental leadership as well as the nature of the professional development that teachers experience. Engelbart (1992) argued that it was the factors at this level that were most important if the benefits of policy initiatives were to be maximized for teachers, schools and governments.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Cowie, B., Jones, A. & Harlow, A. (2005). The digital horizons: Laptops for teachers' policy initiative: Impacts and consequences. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 15, 111-131.
Victoria University of Wellington
This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Annual Review of Education. © 2005 New Zealand Annual Review of Education