Laptops in the Classroom

The Georg Eckert Institute devised a companion study to the project “Flexible learning in the interactive classroom”, supported by the Bürgerstiftung Braunschweig (Braunschweig Civic Foundation). The study, which started in 2012, produced consolidated findings concerning the introduction of Notebooks into classrooms and the unique technical, organisational and educational challenges this presented. The follow-up study built upon the findings and conclusions of its companion study and was divided into two sub-projects; addressing questions concerning the “Application of electronic educational media in Braunschweig school classes using Notebooks”.

The first sub-project examined the dissemination, reception and acquisition of digital educational media content in lessons from a communications studies perspective and compared this with traditional school work. The findings specified concrete recommendations such as a more concentrated focus on bring your own device models and the expansion of technical support for schools and teachers. In addition to the study’s substantive focus, it also examined the range of methods employed in the field to date and the development of innovative methodological approaches through an investigation into the (educational) media consumption habits of pupils and teachers.

By focussing on history, the second sub-project concentrated on a subject in which the Notebooks could be implemented comparatively frequently in the first year of the project. Informed by didactics, the aim was to study how digital educational media are used when learning historical material and to investigate the potential of this media shift. The central question of the research project examined the extent to which the use of digital education media fosters or enables a “new learning culture” and in what way this developed historical study? The lesson observations demonstrated that the introduction of digital media provided positive stimuli – certainly in terms of adopting a critical approach to audio-visual sources. However the study recommended that the teaching of digital and subject-specific skills continues to be closely linked in order for digital media’s potential, such as its broad range of perspectives, to be applied to historical learning. Further investigations could examine teaching and learning arrangements that utilise the participative possibilities of digital learning.

A working paper presenting the overall findings of the study is available (in German).

Project Funding

  • Bürgerstiftung Braunschweig (Braunschweig Civic Foundation)

Project Duration

  • 2014-2016


Sub-project “How digital education media content is imparted and received”

Annekatrin Bock

Media | Transformation

Branch Office B0.19
Phone: +49 531 59099-345
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Sub-project “Learning about history using digital media”

Maren Tribukait

Media | Transformation

Branch Office B0.17
Phone: +49 531 59099-326
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Project coordination and composition