Using affordable technology to decrease digital inequality: Results from Birmingham's One Laptop Per Child XO laptop project


School systems in the United States are increasingly integrating computers into the classroom. Yet, we know little about the factors that determine successful adoption, use, and attitudes toward the computers. The City Council of Birmingham, Alabama is the first in the United States to provide One Laptop Per Child XO laptops to all students in first-fifth grades in the Birmingham City School System. The purpose of this study is to present the survey results examining factors that are related to XO laptop usage and attitudes among fourth-and fifth-grade students in Birmingham City schools. The results indicate that factors vary depending upon the type of use or attitudes being examined. Teachers' use of the XO laptop in the classroom is a primary factor that is related to the frequency of XO activity use and students' attitudes toward the XOs, while teachers' ability is related to the hours of XO usage in school. These results highlight the importance of having well-trained teachers who embrace using the XO laptop in the classroom in order to facilitate positive attitudes toward technology and its use among students. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Title

Information Communication and Society