Improving Fourth Grade Writing through Technology-Enhanced Instruction
Thursday, March 10 10:15-10:45 AM
This study examined the use of netbook computers and social media for student writing in a California school district, with 1510 fourth grade students and 40 teachers participating in a one-to-one program. Observations, interviews, and surveys indicated that netbooks were used extensively in fourth grade classrooms, especially for writing. Use of social media helped students develop a sense of authentic audience and authorship, and was especially beneficial for assisting English language learners in strengthening their identity as writers. Analysis of test scores indicated that student writing achievement improved following the implementation of the program; that the program helped bridge achievement gaps among diverse students by income level, ethnicity, and language; and that, with other factors held constant, the largest achievement gains occurred among students who used the netbooks the most.