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COWS: Computers on Wheels. Need: What problem or need existed that gave rise to your innovation?. Need : Provide teachers and students with regular access to technology. Build teachers’ skills with integration within the classroom.

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need what problem or need existed that gave rise to your innovation
Need: What problem or need existed that gave rise to your innovation?

Need :

  • Provide teachers and students with regular access to technology.
  • Build teachers’ skills with integration within the classroom.

Research: What research organization or people developed a solution to this problem or need? What were their findings? Who were the “lead thinkers” for this innovation, and how did they convince a manufacturer to produce it?

  • Intel partner with AED, EarthWalk Communications, Jordan Ministry of Education, USAID, and others to help develop Jordanian students’ 21st century skills with Computers on Wheels pilot.
  • Increased student confidence and engagement, resulting in improved grades, students conduct their own research for the first time, and increased teachers’ effectiveness with integrating IT into teaching and learning.
  • Intel were the “lead thinkers”.
Development: What problems did your innovation encounter in the development process? Who was the intended audience for your innovation?


  • Technology/infrastructure
  • Pedagogy/training
  • Management/support

Intended Audience

  • Teachers
  • Students
Commercialization: Describe the production, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of your innovation.
  • Earthwalk’s carts provide students with regular access to WiFi enabled Intel technology based EarthWalk laptop PCs to facilitate study. Each cart holds 16 laptop PCs, and is wheeled into classrooms when needed. The cars also have battery bay where spare batteries are charged while laptops are being used. This means there is always a fully charged battery available so that the laptops can be used throughout the day with interruption. All laptops, additional batteries, printers and peripherals can be charged from a single wall outlet.
innovation decision process
Innovation Decision Process
  • Knowledge
  • Persuasion
  • Decision
  • Implementation
  • Confirmation
  • Rogers (2003) wrote that knowledge occurs when an individual is exposed to an innovation’s existence and gains an understanding of how it functions. (Rogers, 2003, p. 169)
  • Sponsored by Microsoft and Toshiba, Rockman et al. did a pilot project with the COWS in June 1997.
  • Twenty-nine private schools and public school districts planned to initiate a pilot laptop program in their sites during the 1996-97 school year.
  • Rogers (2003) wrote that persuasion occurs when an individual forms a favorable or an unfavorable attitude towards the innovation. (Rogers, 2003, p.169)
  • Rogers (2003) wrote that decision takes place when an individual engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation. (Rogers, 2003, p. 169)
decision cont
Decision Cont.
  • a dispersed model, in which students with laptops are dispersed throughout a grade or school, so that in any particular class there are both laptop and non-laptop students;
  • a class set model, in which schools purchase a set of laptops that teachers can then check out as a set for specific time periods;
  • a desktop model, in which district-purchased laptops are distributed a few to each classroom, with little opportunity to carry them home;
  • and a mixed model, in which schools or districts combine two of the four approaches either within or between schools.
  • a concentrated model, in which all students in a classroom have their own laptop, which they are free to take home;
  • Rogers (2003) wrote that implementation occurs when an individual puts a new idea into use. (Rogers, 2003, p. 169)
  • Out of the 26, 10 were private schools and 16 were public school districts that included 43 different schools, for a total of 53 different laptop pilot school sites.
  • Rogers (2003) wrote that confirmation takes place when an individual seeks reinforcement of an innovation decision already made, but he or she may reverse this previous decision if exposed to conflicting messages about the innovation. (Rogers, 2003, p. 169)
  • The laptop project represents a huge investment of time, money, and resources. Many administrators talked about how hard they had worked to gain support from school boards, parents, and the larger community.
  • Deciding how to finance the laptops was especially challenging for most sites, and providing for equitable access was a major concern.
confirmation cont
Confirmation Cont.
  • Many schools experienced problems either with delayed deliveries, incorrectly-configured laptops, or extensive repairs to individual machines.
  • Schools had to gain parents’ support for the project, work out acceptable financing plans, allay concerns about safety and theft, and find ways to provide support for computer problems that students might experience at home.
  • The schools faced a monumental task with laptop training.
  • Most teachers and principals felt that computer security and care presented fewer problems than they had expected initially.

National Science Center donated computers to two trailers and visit schools throughout Thailand.


Penang, Malaysia has a bus going to remote schools allowing students to get on the computers. This gives those schools that are in rural area a change to implement technology in their school day.


Mr. McDowell\'s United States History class were the first at West Hills to utilize the portable labs (nicked named COWs). Each of the school\'s five COWs has 15 or 10 Macintosh iBooks.


Twins Oak Elementary purchased 30 laptops mobile lab for 235 students to use.

Meadowlark Elementary is giving their teacher training on the COWS. The teaching staff is very excited to use the mobile lab with their students to integrate technology into as many subject areas as possible. They are also focusing on project-based learning and assisting students with technology to complete projects.


Edgecumbe College implemented the COWS into their program to motivate and improve students’ performance.

Paradidact: Computers on Wheels one to one instructions made easy. Parat Solution provides inexpensive COWS to the schools systems.

James Earl Jones helps Verizon award $25,000 Literacy-Tech Grant to San Ysidro School

2007 2010
2007 - 2010

The COWS are being implemented in Rajasthan on 32 buses which will go through the district.

Apple Mobile Labs(2008)

Intel partners with AED and provide Jordanians with COWS making the school a 21st Century school.

Burleson Independent School District (ISD) has provided every school with at least one COW for the teachers to bring into their classrooms and they still provide them with a computer lab.

Innovators: Venturesome

Early Adopters: Respect

Early Majority: Deliberate

Later Majority: Skeptical

Laggards: Traditional

Adopter Categories

These are people who are willing to take a risk. They are willing to have set backs.

This would be those in the school building who just walked into this field of work and willing to prove that a certain technology will work if we implement it correctly.

innovators strategies
Allow one grade level to pilot the program.

Administrators should support the innovation.

Innovators Strategies
early adopters
Early Adopters

These are the go to people when you want to adopt a new technology. They are able to tell you if the innovation is worth adopting.

In my field of work, this would be the teacher across the hall from me who is willing to put anything to a test. She will make the innovation work for her classroom, if it is not a good program she will voice that to everyone.

early majority
Early Majority

These are people who are popular within their group, but they are not the leader of the group.

This would be a teacher who has found a wonderful website and he or she has been using the website for sometime now. He or she now introduce it to his or her co-worker. This is a person who will brag about the value of having the website.

early majority strategy
One strategy would be to have the media specialist and the technology director who are open to new innovations and willing to work with early majority members.Early Majority Strategy
late majority
Late Majority

This is the person who will adopt an innovation because everyone is pressuring him or her to do so.

This would be the veteran teacher that has taught a certain way for his/her 29 years. Its working for him/her why should he/she change it?

late majority strategies
Provide in-depth training on the innovation to those that are later majority.

Give data to show that the innovation has an impact on the students’ learning.

Late Majority Strategies

This is the person that does not like to try new things. They are traditional and change is out of the question.

This would also be the veteran teacher that should have retired from teaching maybe three years ago, but refuse to. This is the teacher that would say they did it this way and it worked, why should they have to use this new technology?

laggards strategy
The only strategy for those who refuse to be apart of the innovation would have to be required to use the innovation.Laggards Strategy
5 attributes of innovations
5 Attributes of Innovations

Relative advantage





(Rogers, 2003, pg. 223)

best attributes of innovations
Relative Advantage - COWS increases student academic performance

Compatibility – COWS works with the existing technology in the building

Complexity – COWS can be complex with the wireless cart and the connection

Trialability – The small group of teachers can implement COWS for a year or two to work out problems

Observability – Teachers can see other teachers in the building using COWS

Best Attributes of Innovations
centralize or decentralize
Rogers described a centralized approach as a “top down” (Rogers, 2003, p.401) diffusion in which innovation is created by experts source to users.

Rogers defined decentralized diffusion systems as one where the innovation comes from within and is adopted “horizontally via peer networks” (Rogers, 2003, p. 395).

Centralize or Decentralize
centralize or decentralize1
Centralize or Decentralize?

Centralize would be the best approach for the COWS. The teachers in my school are very skeptical about trying new technology. The innovation would be best if it is pilot through a small group.

change agent 7 step sequence
Change Agent7-step sequence

To develop a need for change

To establish an information exchange relationship

To diagnose problems

To create an intent to change in the client

To translate an intent into action

To stabilize adoption and prevent discontinuance

To achieve a terminal relationship

(Rogers, 2003, 369-370)

change agent
Change Agent

A small group of teachers will come together and implement the COWS instead of going to the computer lab to complete research. The key players in the innovation would be the principal, media specialist, technology director, and the teachers from a particular grade level.