Publication Date

8-2011

Document Type

Report

Abstract

Over eight years ago, Maine embarked on a bold new initiative. Entitled the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), this program funded by the State of Maine, provided all 7th and 8th grade students and their teachers with laptop computers, and provided schools and teachers with a wireless internet infrastructure, technical assistance, and professional development for integrating laptop technology into their curriculum and instruction.

The first full implementation of MLTI began in the Fall of the 2002-03 academic year. At the same time the Maine commissioner of education contracted with the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) to conduct the ongoing evaluation of MLTI. MEPRI is a non-partisan research institute funded jointly by the Maine State Legislature and the University of Maine System. Over the past eight years the MEPRI research and evaluation team has used a mixed method approach in the evaluation of the MLTI program; an approach that uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques in collecting and analyzing research and evaluation evidence.

The evidence presented in this report indicates the MLTI program has had a significant impact on curriculum, instruction, and learning in Maine’s middle schools. In the areas of curriculum and instruction, the evidence indicates many teachers have reached the tipping point in the adoption and integration of the laptop into their teaching. However, the adoption is uneven for some teachers, and in some content areas. Relatively speaking, mathematics teachers use the laptops less frequently than their colleagues in other core disciplines. Most teachers are not using the laptops as frequently in assessment as one might anticipate, and too few teachers report using the laptop in teaching 21st Century Skills.

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