Date of Award

January 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Sherry Houdek


The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data to determine the overall impact of a pilot netbook initiative in five social studies classrooms. The researcher explored the impact on teaching and learning social studies with the primary source of curriculum delivery through one-to-one netbook computer access by students. It also focused on student perception of engagement, productivity, and learning of social studies curriculum through the utilization of a netbook computer in place of a traditional textbook in a social studies classroom.

The research and data collection, through the Grand Forks Public Schools Social Studies Steering Committee, was conducted in several ways utilizing a mixed-methods approach. First, a pre-experimental design, one group pre-post-survey, was used with the groups who were introduced to laptop computers in place of their traditional textbook. Second, a quasi-experimental design, pre-post-survey non-equivalent group design, was used to compare the pilot to the control. Students in one class continued to use a textbook and the other a netbook computer as a pilot for social studies curriculum.

Finally, qualitative methods were used to bring depth and perspective to the research. An analysis of student and teacher responses to open-ended questions were conducted. In addition, data was analyzed from classroom observations throughout the pilot.

Although some of the data and evidence indicated positive perceptions among the netbook pilot students, quantitative data did highlight negative growth areas in engagement, productivity, and learning within the pilot. On the other hand, qualitative data portrayed an overall positive perception of using the netbooks among the pilot students.