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Henrico County Public School received funding in 1995 to place five computers and an ink jet color printer in each of its regular elementary classrooms fist through fifth grade. The goals of the initiative were numerous but focused on: (1) increasing student performance, (2) addressing different learning styles, (3) providing students with daily access to computers, (4) increasing student proficiency with computers, and (5) preparing students for the future. To accomplish these goals, teachers were required to acquire the capacity to integrate computers into their daily classroom lessons and the school division needed to install, maintain the technical hardware and courseware required to support teacher efforts.
The implementation of the initiative was evaluated in each of the three years since 1995 in order to provide information to the school division for use in planning, work tasks and staff development. Teacher attitudes, ability, and instructional behaviors were sampled as well as their perceptions of student motivation and performance due to the initiative. Student achievement was not reviewed until the third year of the study. It was, and is, thought that the full impact of the initiative on student achievement will not be achieved until at least the fifth year of the initiative. During the three years, data were collected through classroom observations, focus group interviews, teacher surveys, software surveys, and standardized test scores.
The evaluations found that the school division had been successful in the implementation of the initiative and staff reactions were positive to their services. Those reports also indicted that teachers perceived that student learning, student proficiency with computers had been greatly enhanced by the initiative and thus afforded better preparation for future work plans. Teachers also reported that their ability to use the computers and their instructional styles had been positively impacted by the initiative. This executive summary provides specific information which describes the benefits students and teachers received from initiatives.
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