Are one-to-one programs really effective? As the United States lags behind in test scores and student achievement is being constantly called into question, one-to-one technology holds the promise of:
Learning tailored to students
One-to-one programs allow students to move at their own pace. If the student needs extra time to understand a concept, they aren’t left behind as the class moves forward. One-to-one also offers students more freedom in the way they learn and interact with their learning environment.
Tools for teachers to monitor their students’ progress
In a one-to-one environment, teachers are able to review the growth of individual students. By tracking an individual’s progress, teachers could develop personalized strategies to reach students.
Even with the promise of improving education, some critics have raised concern about some issues schools have run into with one-to-one technology:
- Training Costs and Incomplete Training
- Resources Going Towards Professional Development
- Initial Starting Expenses
- Worries About Cost-Efficiency
- Insufficient Infrastructure
In the face of these challenges, some have questioned whether or not one-to-one technology is even worth it. While cost and time are factors, one-to-one programs still have a lot to offer classrooms.
Let’s take a look at the impact one-to-one technology has had in real classrooms. In 2016, a study was released that set out to ask (and answer) the question if laptops in the classroom had a positive effect. Here are their findings:
In schools that implemented a one-to-one program:
- There was more emphasis on project-based learning
- Student achievement rose in Science, English, and Math
- Students began to use laptops in all stages of the writing process
- Student-Teacher communication and parental involvement rose
One-to-One Technology is Worth It
Yes, some classrooms that have implemented one-to-one technology in the past have run into issues. But schools are quickly learning from the mistakes made by other school districts and are pushing the merits of digital learning into their classrooms. And, more importantly, one-to-one technology has begun to transform classrooms.
When we look beyond standardized test scores, we see an even greater value of one-to-one laptop programs. When implemented to its fullest potential, laptops function in the classroom as a superior way to take a test. With one-to-one programs, schools can:
- Start employing web tools for improved communication and collaboration
- Build new curriculum geared towards new technology
- Push the importance of digital citizenship to students
- Produce more opportunities for teamwork and classroom interaction
- Add more focus towards projects in student learning
- Create individualized learning environments for students
- Help students develop 21st-century skills that will serve them later in life
- Encourage technology use and competence in students
By putting a laptop or mobile device in the hands of each student, districts are opening classrooms to a new world of opportunity.
Teachers could create an environment in which students can rise to their potential. Students could experience individualized learning that motivates and encourages them. One-to-one technology is a step into 21st-century learning.