Context: The Apple Classroom of Tomorrow study began in 1985, when 5 public school districts were giving personal computers for all their students and teachers, to use both in school and at home.
Predicted Outcomes (what the researchers THOUGHT would happen):
- Teachers and educators predicted that students would grow through "drill and practice" educational software on the computers.
- Focus on individualized learning and self-expression
- Students would become social luddites.
- Students were positive about learning
Unexpected ACTUAL Outcomes:
- General software proved to be very beneficial to learning (eg. productivity software over educational software)
- Cooperative and task-related co-use of computers proved to be beneficial
- In general tests score did not change much from student's results in a traditional classroom.
- Students were more positive about learning and being in school
- " the greatest student advances occurred in classes where teachers were beginning to achieve a balance between the appropriate use of direct instruction strategies and collaborative, inquiry-driven knowledge-construction strategies. In those classes, interaction among students was ordinary and purposeful; children were seen as learners and as expert resources; and students were challenged by problems that were complex and open-ended. In assessing students' work, teachers looked for evidence of deeper understanding—statements of relationships, synthesis, and generalization of ideas to new domains. And, of course, students had opportunities to use a variety of tools to acquire, explore, and express ideas" (Dwyer, 1994).
Notice the emphasis on successful student outcomes coming from higher-order cognitive thinking (over drill and practice) as well as co-use and joint-engagement in the tool (over individualized use).
Dwyer, D. (1994). Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow and What we Have Learned. Educational Leadership. ASCD. Retrieved Online: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr94/vol51/num07/Apple-Classrooms-of-Tomorrow@-What-We've-Learned.aspx