Monday, May 24, 2010

1 to 1 Laptops for high school students

What is a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?

In a 1:1 Program, the school district provides every student with his/her own laptop computer to use at all times - throughout the school day and outside of the school day. Learning activities are specifically designed to integrate the use of laptops.

Are there other schools in Iowa who have a 1:1 Student Laptop Program?
Yes. In 2009-10 there were fifteen schools in Iowa who had a 1:1 Program. In 2010-11 it is estimated that there will be forty schools, and even more in the years thereafter. Schools that currently have a 1:1 Program include BCLUW and South Hamilton. Schools that will likely be implementing a 1:1 Program within the next year or two would include South Hardin, Grundy Center, and Hampton-Dumont.

What grade levels would be involved with a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?
1:1 Programs are typically implemented in high schools and middle schools. However, in some states where 1:1 Programs have been in existence for several years, the program has been expanded to include students in upper elementary grade levels.

Why would school districts pursue a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?
Pursuit of a 1:1 Program is grounded in the fact that schools must prepare students to successfully compete for jobs in a global market – more and more students from around the world are competing for the same jobs. Through a 1:1 Program, students are taken to a new level of connectivity between curriculum and information technology as students use the computer as a learning tool, creativity tool, analytical tool, communications tool, and research tool – any time, any place. Acquisition of the 21st Century Learning Skills is greatly enhanced.

Is it a good idea to give every student a laptop computer to use?
Yes ? – if student use of computers is fully integrated into classroom learning activities, this directly leads to higher levels of learning (thinking), and helps students become proficient in the 21st Century Learning Skills.
No? – if student computer use is not fully integrated into classroom activities, it does not lead to higher levels of learning (thinking), or does not help students to become proficient in the 21st Century Learning Skills.

How much would a 1:1 Program like this cost?
There are four main areas where costs to the district would increase.
a) Infrastructure
b) Student Laptop Computers
c) Teacher Professional Development – Teacher development to learn how to fully integrate the use of laptop computers into the curriculum would require a lot of time.
d) Maintenance, Repair Costs – Costs to maintain the infrastructure, software and laptops will definitely increase. There is not a cost estimate to report at this time.

Does a 1:1 Student Laptop Program Improve Student achievement?
There are many factors that impact student achievement. Anecdotal data from 1:1 Schools suggests that graduation rates increase, the percentage of students going to college increases, dropout rates decrease, and the number of disciplinary cases decreases.

Where can more information be found about 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Programs?
A Google-type search can always be conducted. Apple Computer recommends the following websites:
• Maine International Center for Digital Learning
• Partnership for 21st Century Skills -
• Tour 1 to 1 Learning Programs -
• ISTE NETS Standards -
• University of Southern Maine -

What do you think? Do you think school districts should invest in laptop computers for all their high school students?


CathyO said...

Great info! Thanks for sharing!

Sara said...

In our district, the mantra seems to be "data speaks." If we can find statistics, such as some of those in our Web 2.0 book--"87% of schools offering 1-to-1 computing reported substantial academic improvement"--I think that would be a great selling point. I wonder if every student would have to have a laptop--or if other devices would work as well. . .
Sara R.

Joni said...

Camilla- Our school district is going to be doing this for the 2010-2011 school year. It will be for grades 7-12. I'm excited to see how it will work out for them. I can definitely see how helpful it could be for our educational system and programing. I really appreciate the useful information you provided. I'm excited to see it happen only I can't experience first hand...but maybe one of these days.