2 Definitions and background
A laptop is an electronic notebook (Barak, Lipson, & Lerman, 2006) that can be used as a mobile device (Kay & Lauricella, 2011).
During the 1990s, several schools within the United States experimented with laptop programs (Russell, Bebell, and Higgins, 2004). These programs had a strong allure to educational administrators seeking to promote the kinds of thinking, learning, and creativity required in the 21st century (Suhr, Hernandez, & Warschauer, 2010).
Decreased prices, wireless access, and increased convenience created popularity in this device (Kay & Lauricella, 2011). Approximately 65% of students bring their laptop to class (Fried, 2008). There has been a movement in many districts toward one-to-one laptop instruction, in which all students are provided a laptop computer, but there is concern that these programs may not yield sufficiently improved learning outcomes to justify their substantial cost (Suhr, Hernandez, & Warschauer, 2010). The use of laptops in higher education is a recent phenomenon (Lindorth & Bergquist, 2010). Preliminary evidence indicates that effective use of laptops is generally associated with courses that are traditionally associated with technology (Kay & Lauricella, 2011).
After investigating and comparing beneficial behaviors of laptop use in higher education classrooms, Lindorth and Bergquist (2010) reported positive findings such as note-taking activities, in class laptop-based academic tasks, collaboration, increased focus, improved organization and efficiency, addressing special needs, and researching for supplemental resources. In addition to these benefits, laptop computers offered students with disabilities an opportunity for success that may not be otherwise offered by providing an additional visual representation of learning material (Cengiz Gulek & Demirtas, 2005).
Furthermore, Barak, Lipson, and Lerman (2006) observed that working with subject-specific software programs was a benefit of laptop use in class. Increased learning across a variety of curricular areas was directly related to full access to laptops on a permanent basis, according to Russell, Bebell, and Higgins (2004). Kay and Lauricella (2011) concluded that actively integrating meaningful and structured laptop activities into the classroom would increase the frequency of beneficial laptop behaviors. Through active approaches to teaching, laptops have been shown to assist learning (Finn & Inman, 2004) and in-class laptop use was identified to increase satisfaction, motivation, and engagement among students (Fried, 2008) Laptop use did not impair the overall achievement of surrounding students (Aguilar-Roca, Williams, & O’Dowd, 2012).
Suhr, Hernandez and Warschauer, (2010) completed a study on the effectiveness of 1:1 laptop use for improving teacher and student outcomes. Their findings reported that laptops might have a small effect on increasing literacy scores, with particular benefits in the areas of literary response and analysis and writing strategies (Suhr, Hernandez & Warschauer, 2010). Nicol and MacLeod (2005) studied how technologies in a project design class could support resource sharing within and across project groups. Their inquiry found that laptops helped improve group sharing of resources, supported different kinds of group collaboration and that laptops provided a focal point for the face-to-face discussion of these resources (Nicol & MacLeod, 2005). Finally, Lindorth and Bergquist (2010) concluded that regarding communication, they could observe benefits such as better student-faculty interaction, improved peer collaboration, and instant messaging to peers about concepts covered in class.
Laptops can become distractions and inhibit high quality learning if the students are not actively engaged in using the laptop (Fried, 2008). Students will participate in non-productive laptop behaviors if instructors do not intentionally and meaningfully use laptops in the classroom (Kay & Lauricella, 2011). Barak, Lipson, and Lerman, (2006) reported that laptops were being used for non-academic purposes, such as instant messaging and playing games.
Multitasking, according to Sana, Weston, and Cepeda (2013) poses a significant distraction to both users and fellow students and can be detrimental to comprehension of content. The behavior of switching back and forth between academic and non-academic tasks creates concerns for learning (Fried, 2008). Barak, Lipson, and Lerman (2006) argued that students who multitask on laptops during class time have impaired comprehension of course material and poorer overall course performance. Sana, Weston & Cepeda (2013) observed that students who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on tests.
Other challenges observed by Kay and Lauricella (2011) included students’ distracting laptop behaviors, instant messaging, surfing the web, playing games, watching movies, and decreased focus. Fried (2008) found that when students were given the option of bringing a laptop to class, the use of laptops was negatively related to academic success.
Another constraint of the laptop may be the distracting laptop behavior of nearby fellow students due to the movement of images and laptop screen lighting (Barak, Lipson, & Lerman, 2006). It is interesting to note that in their study of laptop learning programs Percival & Percival (2009) found that while 70% of faculty felt that students were distracted by the technology during class, more than 75% of students did not mind other students using computers for non-class purposes. Laptop use was correlated with lower than predicted performance on exams (Aguilar-Roca, Williams, & O’Dowd, 2012)
Many schools struggle financially to increase student access to technology (Russell, Bebell, and Higgins, 2004) and some faculties have experienced difficulty in integrating the use of laptops in their curriculum (Percival & Percival, 2009). Laptop integration is a relatively new approach to pedagogy; therefore, instructors and students are only learning what is appropriate with respect to laptop behavior in the classroom (Lindorth & Bergquist, 2010).
Laptop Classrooms: Technology As A Teaching Tool - The Local Show 
Laptop Computers in the K-12 Classroom 
Laptops in the Classroom 
Laptops and Learning Resources 
Laptops Change Curriculum 
6 Works Cited
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