Pupils, teachers & palmtop computers

Robertson, S. I.; Calder, J.; Fungi, P.; Jones, A.; O'Shea, T. and Lambrechtst, G. (1996). Pupils, teachers & palmtop computers. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 12(4) pp. 194–204.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.1996.tb00051.x


This paper presents a snapshot of the IT skills of staff and Year 8 students in a secondary school prior to their receiving personal palmtop computers and after a short acquaintance with them. Previously, most staff made relatively little use of the knowledge they had of ‘content-free’ computer applications in their school work, whereas students had little knowledge of such applications. Access to the palmtop, however, increased the staff's use of such applications in their work, particularly for administration (e.g. class registers and assessment scores). A minority of staff remained unconvinced about the potential of the computer and many were dissatisfied with the amount and quality of INSET in the use of the palmtop and in IT in general. The students learned about the main content-free applications relatively quickly and used them frequently. The report highlights the need for adequate and careful training so that teachers become aware of the range of uses and possible benefits of IT.

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