A recent report from Front Row Education shows encouraging progress on the one-to-one computing front. More than 50 percent of teachers now have a one-to-one student-to-device ratio, up nearly 10 percentage points from last year.
That’s good news for students, according to the findings of a Michigan State University study about one-to-one computing conducted over the past 15 years. Providing notebook computers to students resulted in better outcomes in English/language arts, writing, math and science, the study showed.
“It’s not like just providing a laptop to every student will automatically increase student achievement, but we find that it’s the first step,” says researcher Binbin Zheng, an assistant professor of technology and literacy education at Michigan State.
In order for notebook rollouts to benefit students, districts need educator buy-in, tech support, professional development and integration with curriculum, Zheng and her fellow researchers recommended. It also helps to choose the right device.
A recent white paper from THE Journal advises school IT leaders to create a matrix that matches curriculum goals, by grade level, with a given device’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, traditional notebooks work well for older students but may be too much for a K–3 one-to-one program.
K-12 Blueprint reports that when Springfield (Mass.) Public Schools embarked on a one-to-one program, everyone wanted tablets. However, CIO Paul Foster thought it was important to outfit students with a device that supports college and career readiness and noted that few people outside of education use a tablet as their sole mobile device.
Springfield Public Schools rolled out a mix of 11-inch touch-screen convertible Lenovo Yoga and HP tablets, while staff members have 13-inch Lenovo and HP notebooks. The one-to-one program provides Springfield’s student population with a stable learning experience, which is helpful because up to 1,000 students might be homeless at any given time.