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2006 Implementation and Effects Of One-to-One Computing Initiatives: A Research Synthesis

Date: 2006
Author: William R. Penuel
Affiliation: SRI International
Keywords: Ubiquitous computing, research synthesis, laptops, wireless connectivity


There are now a large number of initiatives designed to make laptops with wireless connectivity available to all students in schools. This paper synthesizes findings from research and evaluation studies that analyzed implementation and effects of one-to-one initiatives from a range of countries. Factors related to successful implementation reported in the research include extensive teacher professional development, access to technical support, and positive teacher attitudes toward student technology use. This paper describes results of a synthesis of research evidence with respect to the following questions:

* What new studies of one-to-one computing initiatives have been conducted, and what has been their focus?

* How are students and teachers using technology in initiatives?

* What new information is available from studies about the conditions necessary for effective implementation?

* Have there been any rigorously-designed outcome studies published on the effectiveness of initiatives? If so, what outcomes have been measured?

* What research is still needed on one-to-one initiatives?

Key Findings:

* The results were most promising in two areas that were identified in an earlier review as showing positive effects for laptops: computer literacy and writing.

* In contrast to how students use technology in other initiatives that emphasize basic skills development or assessment, in one-to-one initiatives students most often use productivity and design tools in ways that are integrated into other classroom activities and assignments.

* Students gain practice with using these tools, and as outcome studies document, often improve their technology literacy and skill in using word processing tools to improve their writing skills.

* What is less clear from these studies is what the potential is for one-to-one initiatives to improve student achievement in core subjects.

* The expectation that one-to- one initiatives will improve achievement scores bears further investigation, and it is likely that to expect achievement gains, one-to-one initiatives would need to be part of a larger, more comprehensive effort to improve instruction.

* The research on implementation synthesized here is largely consistent with past research on educational technology reforms, though it does suggest that peers may pay a particularly important role in supporting implementation for teachers.

* The finding that other teachers are particularly important in helping teachers learn how to integrate technology into the classroom, however, has only recently become the focus of systematic research in educational technology.

* It is consistent with emerging research on professional development, however, which has found that participating in professional development activities with peers can contribute to its overall effectiveness.

Source Article: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ728908&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ728908