Technology Support as a Vital Component to Promote Laptop-Assisted Learning

By Paula Cook MacKinnon.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The mere availability of technology in higher education rarely ensures that productive learning will ensue. This paper examines the role of technology support as it relates to the ‘Acadia Advantage” a decade-old laptop technology initiative in higher education. Acadia University is a primarily undergraduate university of approximately 3000 students and over 200 faculty members. In 1997 the university embarked on a cross-curricular project that culminated in all students and faculty members receiving laptop computers to enhance learning and teaching. The widespread implementation required a strategic plan and significant ongoing technical and human-resource support. In 2007, the delivery model was revisited and modified to respond to current trends. The nature and necessity of the support systems for the project will be discussed.

Keywords: Technology, Undergraduate Teaching, University, Laptop, Higher Education, Technology Support, University Administration, Technical Support, Human Resource Support, Support Systems

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.87-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.489MB).

Paula Cook MacKinnon

Principal, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

Paula Cook MacKinnon is the Principal of MindBloom Consulting, an educational consulting firm specializing in institutional strengthening through the effective use of technology. Formerly the Vice-President Student Affairs at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada and Project Manager for the Acadia Advantage, she has been responsible to plan and deliver a technological program that dramatically changed the learning environment. In 2007, she led a team that conducted a comprehensive review of the program. In a university career that spanned nearly two decades, she has held administrative responsibility for student recruitment, student retention, admissions, campus programs, health services, registrar, counselling and athletics.