Investigating Student Netbook Usage using Activity Theory
As schools move to 1:1 computing, research is required to inform the design and provision of access and usage by students. The study draws upon Activity Theory as the conceptual framework, and through employing a mixed method methodology, it seeks to determine the effects of ubiquitous netbook access on communication patterns and classroom environments; and also to determine whether netbooks are an appropriate computing device for Middle Years Learners. Specifically, it investigated whether or not the ratio or quantum of access to the devices was a significant factor in these effects in the following variations of student access and usage of Netbooks:
• 1-1 student to netbook access - five days per week for six weeks;
• 1-1 student to netbook access - three days per week for ten weeks;
• 2-1 student to netbook access - five days per week for six weeks; and,
• 2-1 student to netbook access - three days per week for ten weeks.
This paper reports early findings of a study designed to investigate four patterns of access and usage in four Year 7 classes in a Catholic Primary School in Queensland