Understanding Parent Perceptions of a 1:1 Laptop Program in Western Australia

Frank G. Bate, University of Notre Dame Australia
Jean M. MacNish, University of Notre Dame Australia
Steven Males, University of Notre Dame Australia

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The Authors:

Dr Frank Bate

Dr Jean MacNish


This paper provides some initial findings from a current longitudinal study that examines the implementation of a student-owned 1:1 laptop program in a school for boys in Perth, Western Australia. This research tracks 196 students, their families and associated teachers for a 3-year period (2010-2012). Underpinning this research is a mixed methods approach investigating how boys use their laptops for learning, teachers’ pedagogy and use of ICT, implementation differences between a junior and middle school, and possible impact of the laptops on learning. One theme that emerged from the first two years of data collection was a decrease in parent satisfaction with the extent to which the educational objectives of the laptop initiative were being met. This paper explores possible reasons for this decline in satisfaction, focusing on parent and student perceptions of (a) the time spent on laptops and (b) the activities that students are seen to be engaging with on their laptops. These perceptions are discussed in the context of parents’ own knowledge of, and skills in, information and communications technologies (ICT) and relate to both school and home-based settings.