1:1 Computing: What the Research Says

From Scholastic Administrator Magazine
A review of seven long-term research studies examining the educational outcomes of 1:1 computing revealed six statistically significant educational benefits, provided that schools met two criteria: teachers were adequately trained, and a strong level of support for the "transformational vision of 1:1 computing" existed among key central office and building level administrators. Here are the six findings.

1. Students in a 1:1 environment consistently outperformed non-laptop students in all subject areas on standardized state assessment tests. The significant differences on academic measure were most pronounced in the area of English Language Arts assessments. (Suhr, K.A. et al, Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9 (5), 2010)

2. Laptops are not just technological tools; rather they are cognitive tools that are integrated into the teaching and learning of a school. The "paradigm shift" resulting from 1:1 computing fostered more higher-order reasoning and critical analysis skills among students and greater teacher-student collaboration around instructional tasks. (Weston, M.E. & Bain, A., Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(6), 2010)

3. Teacher practices generally changed to accommodate the opportunities of increased technology access in a 1:1 computer setting, leading to more problem-based or project-based learning activities; but the change takes time-up to two years, typically. (Shapley, K.S. et al, Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(4), 2010)

4. Teachers report students are "more engaged learners" as a result of 1:1 implementation and enjoy using multimedia applications, searching the Internet for instructional purposes, writing papers, and preparing presentations. (Babell, D., & Kay, R., Journal of Technology; Learning, and Assessment, 9(2), 2010; Project RED Key Findings, ISTE Presentation, 2010)

5. The "implementation strength" of student access and use of technology was consistently found to be a positive predictor of student reading and math scores on academic achievement tests. (Shapley, K.S. et al, Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(4), 2010)

6. Students graduating from 1:1 high schools outperformed non-laptop students in terms of 21st-century skills needed to be successful in the workplace and post-secondary educational opportunities. (Lemke, C. & Martin, C., One-to-One Computing in Maine: A State Profile, 2003; Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Citizen Schools, 2006)