Friday, June 24, 2011

One-to-One Laptop Program Helps to Raise Test Scores

How would lesson plans change if every student in your school in grades 4-12 had a laptop in the classroom? In Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, students’ faces light up as they pick up their laptop ready for the school year to begin. 

Mark Edwards, superintendent, launched the one-to-one laptop program four years ago in an attempt to bring technology to the classroom on a more personal level. Most districts nationwide were using laptops in at least one grade at one campus, according to the 2008 “America’s Digital Schools” report from The Greaves Group and The Hayes Connection, but the success of such efforts isn’t widespread.

Yet, the 5,400-student Mooresville district has drawn national recognition, securing a visit last summer from Karen Cator, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. “I think Mooresville has a tremendous amount to offer in terms of leadership and what they've learned along the way,” Cator told local media.

Since the “digital conversion,” test scores in the district have increased, with overall student proficiency rates growing from 73 percent to 86 percent in three years, putting Mooresville in a fourth-place tie in North Carolina’s academic index ratings. And the district’s four-year graduation rate improved 22 points to 86 percent over five years, according to district data.

Read the full article here.

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