Using Ecological Lens to Explore a One-to-one Laptop Program Integration in Classrooms with English Language Learners in an Urban Middle School
Contributor(s)Turgut, Guliz (Turgut, Guliz) (Authoraut)
Albert, Lillie Richardson (Albert, Lillie Richardson) (Thesis advisorths)
English language learners
middle urban school
one-to-one laptop program
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AbstractCurrently, one of the most popular technology initiatives used in schools to prepare information- and technology-literate students is one-to-one laptop programs. However, limited research studies have investigated factors involved in laptop programs' integration process in schools from various participant perspectives by specifically focusing on ELL students and their needs. Through an ecological lens, this study investigated a one-to-one laptop program integrated into ESL classrooms in an urban middle school, which sustained the program for 6 years. The study included multiple perspectives of various school community members to capture an accurate account of factors necessary for the program's implementation and continuation. This study used a qualitative, single-case research design with exploratory purposes to investigate the multi-level nature of a one-to-one laptop program. Ecology was used as a lens to interpret data and show the relations between living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) factors in the program. In-depth data was collected through interviews, classroom observations, field notes, and archives. Collected data were analyzed through constructivist grounded theory using open, axial, and selective coding. The study demonstrated that multiple factors interact with each other and impact the laptop initiative in ESL classrooms. These factors and their interaction were visually represented as a conceptual model. Factors identified in findings were discussed under three main themes: financial, technical and leadership factors. Findings related to financial factors indicated that technical issues increased over the years due to the financial problems, which influenced the instructional use of laptops unfavorably and amplified doubts about the future of the program. Results related to leadership highlighted the importance of having multiple leaderships and allowing the participation of various school members in the decision making process. Results also showed that the federal mandates on achievement influenced the laptop program by changing the vision of the school from teaching with technology to improving instruction and achievement scores on standardized tests. Finally, findings emphasized the importance of including ESL leadership in the laptop program from the very beginning to adjust it to the needs of ESL students. Implications for teachers, administrators, educational researchers, policy makers, and future research are discussed.