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APPENDIX A: Methodology

The extended assessment examines the long term impacts of laptop use in child protective services in NYS and makes recommendations for maximizing mobile technology investments. In order to do this, three districts were selected to participate in data collection activities from July 2008 to October 2008. Districts selected to participate in this extended assessment were considered the ‘best case for use’ and were selected based on several criteria including:
  • Participation in a previous assessment: All districts that participated in prior assessments where considered for participation.
  • Connectivity: Only districts that secured wireless connectivity for each laptop were considered for participation.
  • Length of time: Districts with wireless connection in use for over 240 days (6 months) were considered for participation.
  • Geographical location: Districts representing regional and geographical differences in NYS were considered for participation.
  • Favorable policy and management conditions: Districts representing favorable overtime or general use policies in prior assessments were considered for participation.
From these criteria, three districts were chosen – New York City Administration of Children Services, Onondaga County Department of Social Services, and Wayne County Department of Social Services.