Bloom-ing Heck! The Activities of Australian Science Teachers and Students Two Years into a 1:1 Laptop Program Across 14 High Schools

Simon J. Crook, Manjula D. Sharma

Abstract


This study examines the responses of 1245 science students and 47 science teachers from 14 Catholic high schools in Sydney, Australia, 2010. Two years into a 1:1 laptop program, the types of activities engaged in with laptops as self-reported by teachers and students are analysed. The activities are differentiated from lower- to higher-order using Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. Though the shift has been to use pen and paper less and laptops more, it is found that the modal practice for students is the lower-order paradigm of note-taking and working from textbooks through electronic means by word processing and electronic textbooks, plus simple online searching. Students would like to engage in more higher-order activities such as blogging and video editing but these are not favoured by teachers. Datalogging and databases, despite being encouraged or even mandated by the Board of Studies NSW, are rare experiences. Most science teachers appear to use simulations but students do not report the same experience. Investment must be made in the professional development of teachers to empower and encourage them to integrate higher-order tasks and to capitalise on the opportunities offered by 1:1 laptops.

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