Book Reviews

Book By: Nilson, Linda B. and Weaver, Barbara E. (Eds)
Review By: Patricia Griffin
Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center
Fort Hays State University

Technology is changing the way the academe teaches and how students learn. As technological advances are introduced throughout higher education, institutions are more and more attracted by the promise and potential of technology for enhanced learning and access.

The intention of this book is to address the movement within higher education to make computing a more integral part of the everyday classroom: the laptop initiative. This is addressed by making the argument for the pedagogically productive and novel use of laptops in the classroom. Pedagogy does not need to be compromised and the student workload does not have to increase for all to benefit from the implementation of laptops within the classroom.

The Higher Education Survey on Leadership, Innovation and Technology participants ranked “Enhance teaching and learning” the highest and most important strategic objective to attain with technology (Bassett, 2005). The movement towards using technology to achieve and improve student learning outcomes is evident within this text and others (see references). Faculty who serve as advisors also want to meet the student learning outcomes; opportunities for enhanced learning through advising can be part of the initiatives.

The editors indicate that the key to success of laptop initiatives is Laptop Faculty Development Programs. As it is with any new implementation, professional development must occur to increase the knowledge base of individuals who will utilize the implemented technology. Professional development should be backed by consultation opportunities and technical support.

This book provides approaches by faculty from a wide range of academic disciplines and institutions. Each chapter provides information that impacts student learning and student attitude as well as the faculty and their discipline-specific issues. The diversity of experiences represented, the varied discipline perspectives included, and differing levels of experience with technology bring a true awareness of the possibilities that all faculty can enhance student learning and engagement if they have the appropriate skills and knowledge.

As a faculty member and administrator at an institution with a newly announced Mobile Computing Strategic Two-Year Plan (http://www.fhsu.edu/live/wireless.shtml), I found this book very interesting and enlightening. A variety of discipline related questions are addressed that will serve as a resource to academic units and our Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technology as we move forward with our initiative.

This book’s purpose was to demonstrate that laptop initiatives can create new opportunities for student learning and student engagement. Faculty advisors, administrators and professional advisors can garner information from this book that can help them be more informed and able to discuss laptop initiatives in their campus technology planning conversations. Additionally, included information will enable faculty to assist students who seek information about how this can impact their educational experiences. NACADA as an association works to enhance the educational development of students. This book provides an insight into a technology segment that is part of many students’ educational development and their learning.

References:

Bassett, Eric. (2005, June). The Non-CIO Face of Technology Decision-Making: CAOs, CFOs, and presidents weigh in on the relevance of technology. Campus Technology, vol. 18 no. 10, 14.

Sheey, K; Kukulska-Hulme, A; Twining, P; et al (2005). Tablet PCs in schools: A review of literature and selected projects’. Becta ICT Research. Retrieved –July 6, 2005- from: http://www.becta.org.uk/corporate/publications/documents/tabletpc_report.pdf

Villano, Matt. (2005, July). Imagination on the Move. Campus Technology, vol. 18 no. 11, 32-37.


Enhancing Learning with Laptops in the Classroom (New Directions for Teaching and Learning).Number 101. (2005). Book by Nilson, Linda B. and Weaver, Barbara E. (Eds). Review by Patricia Griffin. Jossey-Bass Publishers. 112pp. $29.00 (paperback). ISBN 0-7879-8049-8.


Actions: E-mail | Permalink |