The effects of access to technology on achievement and attitudes for sixth graders

The purpose of this study was to determine whether access to technology impacts achievement and attitudes of sixth graders. This action research study used a mixed model design and triangulation including two questionnaires and analysis of student test scores and grades. Forty sixth grade students participated in the study by completing both a Technology Questionnaire and an Attitude Questionnaire. The researcher analyzed participant standardized test scores for reading and math (thirdfifth grades) and report card grades for fourth and fifth grades to compare against participant access to technology. Data was collected, compared and analyzed over a six-week period. Findings from the study indicate that students with access to technology in their homes achieve higher test scores and overall grades as opposed to students without home access to computers. This study determined that there is a relationship between student access to technology and student achievement. However, the study found that there was no relationship between student access to technology and their attitudes toward school. In fact, the majority of students had a positive attitude toward school despite technology access. Recommendations from the study include implementation of programs that will provide extended access to technology in homes. Several models were found in the literature that provides this type of access. KEYWORDS: access, attitudes, digital divide, grades, students, technology, test scores.