Research Links

Simon J. Crook, Manjula D. Sharma, and Rachel Wilson (2015)
Our study capitalized on a unique natural experiment rather than a researcher-designed, randomized experiment whereby, thanks to the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution, half of grade 9 students in 2008 received laptops and half did not. Consequently in late 2011, when these students sat for their grade 12 external examinations based on the same curriculum implemented across the state of New South Wales, half of them had been schooled with 1:1 laptops for over three years, and half without. With school principals and district administrators asking the question ‘what will these laptops do to our examination results?’ this dichotomous scenario presented us with a unique opportunity to find out. The aim of this study was to evaluate if having 1:1 laptops was a predictor of success in the sciences in the external examinations. The science students (N ¼ 967) from 12 high schools in Sydney, Australia were studied. Using socio-demographic, school and examination data, multiple regression analyses were performed to measure the impact of the 1:1 laptop provision and other variables on student attainment in biology, chemistry and physics. We found that being schooled with 1:1 laptops had statistically significant and positive standardized regression coefficients with student attainment, with a medium effect size in physics (0.38), and small effect sizes in biology (0.26) and chemistry (0.23). Upon further investigation, exploring data provided by student and teacher questionnaires, we found that the greater effect size in physics corresponded with greater use of simulations and spreadsheets by students and teachers.

Common Challenges and Experiences of School Districts That Are Implementing One-to-One Computing Initiatives

Andrew Topper and Sean Lancaster (2013)
This article explores the implementation of various K–12 one-to-one computing initiatives to determine if patterns exist. These initiatives are funded in times of limited resources and constitute a serious investment in technology for the schools and districts adopting them. The goals of this study were to understand how and why one-to-one computing initiatives are being implemented, how these initiatives are funded and supported, and expectations or assumptions of stakeholders that are driving adoption of this type of technology. The results suggest that these school districts, and those like them, will face many challenges—some financial, some technical, and some procedural—as they work to integrate technology into instruction and assessment. Common themes or challenges identified from this work, and linked with previous research, include leadership and vision, funding, teacher professional development, and project evaluation.
Augustine Kposowa and Amanda Valdez (2013)
The primary objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between ubiquitous laptop use and academic achievement. It was hypothesized that students with ubiquitous laptops would score on average higher on standardized tests than those without such computers. Methods: Data were obtained from two sources. First, demographic and computer usage information was obtained through face-to-face interviews of 4th and 5th grade students enrolled in an ethnically diverse elementary school in Southern California. Student achievement and related data were obtained from existing school records. An unmatched case-control group design was implemented. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate techniques were performed on the data.


Jayson Richardson, Scott McLeod, Kevin Flora, Nick Sauers, Sathiamoorthy Kannan and Mehmet Sincar (2013)
This article details the spread and scope of large-scale 1:1 computing initiatives around the world. What follows is a review of the existing literature around 1:1 programs followed by a description of the large-scale 1:1 database. Main findings include: 1) the XO and the Classmate PC dominate large-scale 1:1 initiatives; 2) if professional development was conducted within a 1:1 initiatives, it was done at the onset of the project by venders of the hardware; 3) funding for 1:1 initiatives appears to be provided initially but not as a reoccurring expense.
Binbin Zheng, Mark Warschauer, and George Farkas (2013)
Over the last decade, the number of one-to-one laptop programs in U.S. schools has steadily increased. Though technology advocates believe that such programs can assist student writing, there has been little systematic evidence for this claim, and even less focused on technology use by at-risk learners. This study examined the effect of daily access to laptops on the writing outcomes and processes of 2,158 upper elementary students in two school districts, and the effect among diverse students. In a California district, students showed improved English language arts achievement in both a partial laptop program year and a full laptop program year. In a Colorado district, overall writing test score gains were not statistically significant; however in both districts, at-risk student groups (i.e., Hispanics and low-income learners) showed significant gains. In addition, survey results, interviews, and observations indicate that at-risk learners used the laptops more frequently than their counterparts at school for a variety of learning purposes. This study suggests that well-planned use of laptops and digital media can help diverse learners improve their literacy processes and outcomes.

Technology Integration Research Review
Vanessa Vega, Edutopia (2013)

Technology integration can be one of the most challenging topics to find quality research on. The term itself is a broad umbrella for numerous practices that may have little in common with each other. In addition, technology tools change rapidly, and outcomes can vary depending on implementation. Edutopia's tech integration review explores some of the vast body of research out there and helps you navigate useful results. In this series of five articles, learn about three key elements of successful technology integration, discover some of the possible learning outcomes, get our recommendations on specific practices and programs by academic subject and promising tools for additional topics, find tips for avoiding pitfalls when adopting new technologies, and dig into a comprehensive annotated bibliography with links to all the studies and reports cited in these pages.

One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative
Damian Bebell & Rachel Kay, Boston College (2010)

Student Achievement: This paper examines the educational impacts of the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative (BWLI), a pilot program that provided 1:1 technology access to all students and teachers across five public and private middle schools in western Massachusetts. Using a pre/post comparative study design, the current study explores a wide range of program impacts over the three years of the project's implementation. Specifically, the document provides an overview of the project background, implementation, research design and methodology, and a summary of the quantitative results. The study details how teaching and learning practices changed when students and teachers were provided with laptops, wireless learning environments, and additional technology resources. The results found that both the implementation and outcomes of the program were varied across the five 1:1 settings and over the three years of the student laptop implementation. Despite these differences, there was evidence that the types of educational access and opportunities afforded by 1:1 computing through the pilot program led to measurable changes in teacher practices, student achievement, student engagement, and students' research skills.

How Laptops Digitize and Transform Learning
Jenifer Corn, Jennifer Tingen, Rodolfo Argueta, Ruchi Patel, Daniel Stanhope, (2010)

21st Century Skills: Laptops have been shown to improve 21st Century skills such as life and career skills, learning and innovation skills, and group collaboration, but how does this ever-present technology affect the thinking of today's "screenager"? Through an analysis of focus groups and surveys with students in 1:1 initiatives across North Carolina, researchers have discovered multiple changes in learning and 21st Century skills when students have access to laptops. The study included eight Early College (EC) high schools and ten traditional high schools, with a total across the eighteen schools of approximately 9,500 students and 600 school staff.

Results & Lessons Learned from 1:1 Laptop Initiatives: A Collective Review
Lori B. Holcomb, North Carolina State University, (2007)

Student Achievement: Over the last ten years, the emergence of 1:1 programs has grown increasingly in popularity. More and more schools are implementing 1:1 programs as a means for increasing student achievement and performance. In fact, few modern educational initiatives have been as widespread and costly as the integration of laptop initiatives into education. As a result, a new vision in education has emerged as more and more schools across the country are now providing their teachers and students with laptops. In a 2006 eSchool News report, it was estimated that by 2007 nearly 25% of school districts in the United States would implement some form of a 1:1 computing. Currently, 1:1 initiatives exist in a wide variety of settings in Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. The impact of 1:1 learning on student measures and outcomes has been examined and studied from several different angles, from looking at absentee rates to interest and motivation to achievement scores. This article highlights research findings relating to student and teacher outcomes and 1:1 laptop initiatives and presents lessons learned from 1:1 initiatives.

The ABC's of BYOL
Dian Schaffhauser, (2011)

Professional Development: The Forest Hills Local Schools board in Ohio had always been supportive of a 1-to-1 program, but it simply did not have the resources to buy every student a computer. The district had some laptops available, but only enough for about one out of every five students. So, when a teacher wanted to integrate technology into a lesson, the machines had to be reserved, rolled into the classroom, and set up for the kids; or media center access had to be scheduled and the class moved there for the session. This article describes the launching of the district's seventh-grade bring-your-own-laptop (BYOL) pilot and how a BYOL program may eventually put a device into the hands of every student in the districtand technology into every one of its classrooms.

Maine’s Middle School Laptop Program: Creating Better Writers
David Silvernail and Aaron Gritter, University of Southern Maine (2007)

Student Achievement: Eighth grade Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) writing scores were examined for two time periods; for 2000, a year prior to implementation of the statewide laptop program, and for 2005, five years after the initial implementation of the program. Results indicate that in 2005 the average writing scale score was 3.44 points higher than in 2000. This difference represents an Effect Size of .32, indicating improvement in writing performance of approximately 1/3 of a standard deviation. Thus, an average student in 2005 scored better than approximately two thirds of all students in 2000. A secondary analysis of the 2005 scale scores revealed that how the laptops are being used in the writing process influences writing performance. Students who reported not using their laptop in writing (No Use Group) had the lowest scale score, whereas students who reported using their laptops in all phases of the writing process (Best Use Group) had the highest scale score. The difference in Effect Size is .64, indicating that the average student in the Best Use Group scored better than approximately 75% of the No Use Group students.

Laptops and Fourth-Grade Literacy: Assisting the Jump over the Fourth Grade Slump
Kurt A. Suhr, David A. Hernandez, Douglas Grimes, & Mark Warschauer, Boston College (2010)

Student Achievement: School districts throughout the country are considering how to best integrate technology into instruction. There has been a movement in many districts toward one-to-one laptop instruction, in which all students are provided a laptop computer, but there is concern that these programs may not yield sufficiently improved learning outcomes to justify their substantial cost. And while there has been a great deal of research on the use of laptops in schools, there is little quantitative research systematically investigating the impact of laptop use on test outcomes, and none among students at the fourth-to-fifth grade levels. This study investigated whether a one-to-one laptop program could help improve English language arts (ELA) test scores of upper elementary students, a group that often faces a slowdown of literacy development during the transition from learning to read to reading to learn known as the "fourth-grade slump." We explore these questions by comparing changes in the ELA test scores of a group of students who entered a one-to-one laptop program in the fourth-grade to a similar group of students in a traditional program in the same school district. After two years' participation in the program, laptop students outperformed non-laptop students on changes in the ELA total score and in the two subtests that correspond most closely to frequent laptop use: writing strategies and literary response and analysis. 

Emerge One-to-One Laptop Learning Initiative: Final Report
University of Calgary, (2010)

21st Century Skills:The Emerge One-to-One Laptop Learning Project (Emerge) was established in 2006 by Alberta Education to investigate the efficacy of laptops for teaching and learning in the 21st Century. Alberta Education used a competitive process in 2007 to award three-year grants to 20 jurisdictions, involving 50 schools. Each of the 20 jurisdictional grantees selected a specific target population, or 21st Century Skill set, as a focus for their three-year grant award. Many of the Emerge jurisdictions focused on a common set of 21st Century Skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, global awareness, or information and communication technology (ICT). The Emerge jurisdictions deployed one-to-one laptop learning at specific grade levels or with specific student populations within their targeted schools. None of the Emerge programs were school-wide deployments. While in some Emerge programs the laptops followed the students (for as long as those students were enrolled in the host school), other jurisdictions made the decision to keep the laptops at specific grade levels, which meant new groups of students in the program each year. Still others had hybrids of the two approaches.