Quaker Valley Digital School District: Early Effects and Plans for Future Evaluation

By Kerri A. Kerr; John F. Pane et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, technology use in educational settings in the United States has become commonplace. Students and teachers report frequent use of computers in schools and classrooms for educational purposes, and nearly all schools and classrooms are connected to the Internet (see Fouts, 2000; Kleiner and Farris, 2002). The importance of educational technology has been emphasized by a dramatic growth in funding for technology initiatives and the emergence of government grants and other programs supporting educational technology programs (Dickard, 2003). As part of the growing trend to integrate technology into classroom settings, educators have sought new and innovative applications of technology in education. In particular, efforts to integrate use of laptop computers into classroom practice seek to enhance student access to computer technology by increasing the ready availability of technology for use at school, and in some cases, outside of school. Yet, as the number of new technology-based initiatives grows, little empirical research has been done to examine the implementation of these initiatives and their effects on students and teachers. The present study seeks to investigate one such innovative technology program—the Quaker Valley Digital School District (DSD) initiative—by providing a clearer understanding of the implementation and impacts of the initiative and suggesting possible methods for a future, more comprehensive evaluation of the technology program.


BACKGROUND: DIGITAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
INITIATIVE

In September 2000 the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced a statewide competition to select and fund “Digital School Districts.” As part of the DSD initiative, selected districts are intended to serve as models, or living laboratories, for innovative uses of technology to redefine and improve teaching, learning, and the management of educational systems. The initiative intends to test real-world applications of educational technology aimed at changing the way teaching and learning occur, going far beyond simply mechanizing current educational practice. The goals of the initiative include developing a new educational paradigm enabled by technology and systematic reform; increasing student achievement related to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards;

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Quaker Valley Digital School District: Early Effects and Plans for Future Evaluation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Conceptual Framework 9
  • Current Status of the Digital School District Initiative 31
  • Plans for Future Evaluation of the Digital School District Initiative 49
  • Conclusions and Recommendations 63
  • References 67
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