What can sound like a complex concept, in the context of education, is really quite simple. One-to-one computing refers to when schools and colleges that allow each enrolled student to use an electronic device in order to access the Internet, digital course materials and digital textbooks. The concept has been explored since the late 1990s, but it has only been sporadically implemented.
Schools must be in a constant cycle of improvement as the society and the world around it changes. As each facet of society is in someway equipped with internet and technology, it seems a disadvantage to not instill a proper understanding of how to use these tools to the betterment of students, and in turn, society overall. Fortunately for students, the last decade has seen enthusiastic development within the educational field to implement a one to one technological tool as essential means in the quest to properly prepare students to take on 21st century learning expectations.
Today, school districts across America are spending significant amounts of their resources to introduce new technology into the classrooms and with good reason; nationwide, the costs reached up to $19 billion in 2018.
Research on 1:1 computing shows that these programs enhance student achievement in writing, reading, math, and problem-solving. Other research shows that 1:1 computing can decrease achievement gaps between socioeconomic groups and students with varied learning abilities, and shift the ways that students learn by increasing student engagement with course content and learning assessments.
The U.S. Department of Education stated,
“Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand-held devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; support learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21 century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning.”
While technology can not change schooling on its own, technology initiatives can encourage schools and districts to foster and accommodate change on a faster pace. Leaders must determine whether districts have the structures and supports in place to create meaningful change.