Other Published Works by John O'Mara


Jack received his Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University and has been an advisor on several dissertation committees. He was active on the Maine Laptops in Technology Initiative (MLTI) and has had significant expereince in the field of educational technology.  His dissertation, Computers as Ubiquitous Tools for Teaching and Learning.  The full dissertation can be accessed at the ProQuest Web site - http://www.proquest.com  or via http://gradworks.umi.com/32/06/3206008.html


The focus of the study was to examine and document Maine's laptop computer initiative from enabling legislation through three years of laptop use in Maine schools. The central premise of the Maine Learning with Technology Initiative (MLTI), as it was first designed, was that such one-to-one computer access would ultimately revolutionize the way in which teachers taught and students learned. The case study investigated the problem that there was still insufficient documentation to attest that the presence of ubiquitous laptop computers was sufficient to transform teaching and learning or revolutionize the way in which learning could or should occur in Maine classrooms. Did students' and teachers' behavior change as a result of the Laptop Initiative? Did daily computer use change how Maine students learned and how teachers taught, and, if so, how? The goal of the study was to document that transformation of teaching and learning in Maine schools as the result of the Laptop Initiative. The study also looked at how the student use of technology changed from a learner perspective and what changes parents observed at home in the learning and the learner as a result of daily computer use by their children.


The primary conclusion of the study is that providing ubiquitous laptop access has had a decidedly positive impact on both teachers and their students. When asked if they believed the laptop program had provided a valuable advantage for their students, 91% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that it had. Three quarters of all teachers indicated that the laptops had helped their students learn more effectively than by using traditional methodology alone. Of equal importance, three quarters of all students in the laptop group indicated that the laptops had provided a valuable advantage for them as students. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)