Karen Kusiak

Date of Award


Level of Access

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Individually Designed


Suzanne Estler

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Allan

Third Committee Member

Gordon Donaldson


This study examines students' use of one-to-one laptop computers in two Maine high school English classes. This qualitative study analyzes classroom observation and interview data as well as student work samples in an effort to understand the connections between the use of laptop computers and the construction of academic identity. The study is informed by academic thought in the field of Society and Technology Studies and also develops from scholarship related to cultural constructions of identity. The construct of academic identity in education literature is examined, and a refined definition is offered that considers students' intellectual effort in the process of constructing academic identity. Curriculum and instructional practices in the two English classes are analyzed in relation to the use of laptop computers and the idea of transformation of education through technology is questioned. Student access to the general education curriculum is considered in light of determining how laptops are used to promote equitable practices for students in the two non-honors track classes selected for the study.