Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Kendall Hartley

Number of Pages



This study had three purposes: to explore configurations of laptop use in the middle school setting; to explore the range of student off-task behavior during laptop-based learning experiences; and to explore the relationships between the configurations of use and student off-task behavior. Through a framework of educational change and guided by methodologies of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model of change, an Innovation Configuration Map was developed and used to collect data for this study. Three unique configurations of use were identified: The Jetsons, in which technology is fully integrated and a natural part of teaching, learning, assessment, and communication; Star Trek in which technology, dependant on student access and lesson content, is used predominantly for word processing and Internet-based research, and; Lost in Space, in which access was minimal at best, and uses of technology were limited to word processing; The range of off-task behavior was described through categories: discussion topic, use of learning tools for purposes other than intended, not completing any task at all, and completing an entirely different task to the one assigned. An additional descriptor of off-task behavior centered upon whether it was laptop-based or not. Off-task behavior identified in this study covered the range of criteria. The most frequent off-task behavior observed and reported during teacher interviews was discussion of non-task related topics and using the laptop computers for non-task related activities, in particular playing of computer games; Exploration of relationships between configurations of use and off-task behaviors revealed that the Lost in Space configuration covered the complete range of behavior but on a relatively minimal level. The Jetsons configuration covered a narrower range, but off-task behavior was more occasional. The Star Trek configuration covered the range of off-task behavior on a more frequent level than the other configurations; Conclusions drawn from this study include a proposal that increased access to technology does not necessarily lead to greater academic engagement, however in a constructivist learning environment, the impact of the student off-task behavior is less pronounced than in environments with less computer use.


Behavior; Concerns-based Adoption Model; Configurations; Exploring; Laptop; Middle Schools; Off-task Behavior; Relationships; Students

Controlled Subject

Educational technology; Education, Secondary

File Format


File Size

5201.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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