Writing with Laptops
A Quasi-Experimental Study
Keywords:one-to-one computing, laptops, English learners, writing, composition
This study examines the effects of a one-to-one laptop program on the scientific writing of 5th and 6th grade students. A total of 538 native English-speaking, fluent English-proficient, and limited English-proficient students from four laptop schools and three control schools were prompted to write scientific essays at the start and end of the school year. Essays were examined along three dimensions: word use, text complexity, and writing quality. Overall, students who used laptops wrote longer, better structured essays that included more paragraphs and sentences. Students in the laptop condition also wrote higher quality prose that contained richer details and better addressed the prompts. Students in the laptop condition additionally showed greater gains from the beginning to the end of the year in the number of sentences per paragraph and the number of words per sentence than students in control classrooms. Finally, we found that although students’ writing varied as a function of proficiency in English, the effects of writing with laptops, in terms of both modality effects and gains associated with the treatment, were comparable for students with limited English proficiency, language minority students who were considered to have fluent English proficiency, and native English speakers. Thus, the benefits of including individual laptops in writing instruction may be enjoyed by elementary school students with varying levels of English proficiency.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.