What resent history has told us . . .
Beginning in the late 1990s, reports of One-to-One computing began to rise up around the world of education. By 2000, several states and countries around the globe had models of student-centered technology practices that appeared to be successful.
“Today One-to-One computing initiatives that seek to provide laptop computers and Internet access to students for use at home and school are expanding rapidly across the globe. These initiatives can help facilitate the transition in schools from occasional, supplemental use of computers for instruction to more frequent, integral use of technology across a multitude of settings. Ubiquitous, 24/7 access makes it possible for students to access a wider array of resources to support their learning, to communicate with peers and their teachers, and to become fluent in their use of the technological tools of the 21st century workplace. Being able to take computers home further expands students’ access, facilitates students keeping their work organized, and makes the computer a more ‘personal’ device.” (Research: What it Says About 1 to 1 Learning, 2005)
This research makes it clear that teacher attitude and beliefs affect implementation and program success, that professional development and high levels of technical support are critical, and that a rigorous teaching model would allow for the most positive effects.
Project RED released a report in 2010 that focused on three major issues in education in the United States: improving student achievement, evaluating the financial impact of technology, and assessing the impact of continuous access to a computing device for every student. This report reviewed almost 1000 schools with comprehensive data points and aimed to rank technology practices in order of highest impact on the classroom. This report also found that, properly implemented, technology saves money; in fact, schools with a 1:1 computer-student ratio saw the most cost savings in many areas, from printing costs to online textbooks. Some of the factors for proper implementation include the principal as an effective instructional leader and having a full adoption of technology practices for every teacher, with online collaboration for students on a daily basis. Finally, the report found that schools with a successfully implemented One-to-One computer program who also utilized key instructional strategies had a significant impact on student performance. Additional positive effects of these programs included reduced discipline issues, improved dropout rates, and improved graduation rates.