Learning2Go Phase 2 Report

Learning2Go ReportThere's more evidence that handhelds improve student learning. Wolverhampton's Learning 2 Go partnership in the United Kingdom released a report at the end of 2006. The 46-page End of Phase 2 Report is full of notable facts, figures, charts, and recommendations:

  • The number of schools in the Learning 2 Go project expanded dramatically in Phase 2, the academic year 2005-2006, from approximately ninety handheld devices in use to over a thousand.
  • Handhelds are not the not 'magic answer' but effective use is conditional on other aspects of effective teaching, class management, as well as school culture.
  • In general progress is not so good [in secondary schools] and baseline achievement has not yet been established by all schools.
  • There is almost no evidence of distraction from established learning approaches caused by devices as feared by some teachers.
  • Attendance at school appears to be significantly improved, certainly in Primary schools, which was notable against the general trend across the Authority [school district]. Attendance for boys was shown to be more improved than for girls.
  • There was evidence that a school's ability to manage innovation and change at the highest levels was critical to success.
  • Year 6 students achieved 5 percentage point increase in science, 3.5 increase in math, and -1 point increase in English. No explanation is available for the English outcomes, but the report offers further insights.
  • Mini-Computers Bring Test Boost was published by BBC News and briefly shares some of the report's results. Dave Whyley from the project is quoted, "Attendance figures have gone up. We're also seeing boys switched on to reading. They like e-books. One boy read his e-book until his battery went flat on his PDA at night."
  • The report includes lots more information, including examples of what students and teachers are doing with their handhelds, parent reactions, technical issues, and much data analysis.
  • The key message for all audiences remains that unless current PDAs and software are implemented with a well prepared and structured support framework; then the successes seen in the Wolverhampton project will not be realised.
With the success of the partnership, we can look forward to more reports and resources from Learning 2 Go. Something we do know from research is that achievement gains do not come until a teacher's second year of handheld implementation. For more sources of research and studies, visit the Research Web Links page.