Food for Thought Friday: Do 1:1 Devices Improve Educational Outcomes?

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

This past December, the ninth and tenth graders at Downingtown East and West went 1:1 with a choice between two laptops.  They could also continue to bring their own devices. The Downingtown STEM Academy, Lionville Middle School,laptop.png and Downingtown Middle School students are now all 1:1 with iPads and our elementary students have more access to devices than ever before. With such a large financial investment in these technology tools, we educators, our School Board, the taxpayers, our parents and our students need to know that it was worth it.

So what does the research say? Binbin Zheng, Chin-Hsi Lin and Chi Chang from Michigan State University and Mark Warschauer from the University of California, Irvine reviewed 65 journal articles and 31 doctoral dissertations published from January 2001 to May 2015 to examine the effect of one-to-one laptop programs on teaching and learning in K–12 schools. Their findings were published in the Review of Educational Research this past December. As with any research, especially meta-studies, there are many nuances to the findings. In general, the findings of this research were positive.

As with any research, especially meta-studies, there are many nuances to the findings. In general, however, the findings of this research were positive. The findings showed that  1:1 programs “significantly increased academic achievement in science, writing, math, and English; increased technology use for varied learning purposes; more student-centered, individualized, and project-based instruction; enhanced engagement and enthusiasm among students; and improved teacher–student and home– school relationships” (Zheng, Warschauer, Lin, & Chang, 2016, p. 1075).

There is a lot of food for thought to digest this weekend.  Enjoy!

You can read the entire study here.

Zheng, B., Warschauer, M., Lin, C. H., & Chang, C. (2016). Learning in One-to-One Laptop Environments A Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 0034654316628645.
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