Research Review about 1:1 Laptop Programs


In the articles and books below, research about 1:1 laptop programs indicate benefits in the following areas:

  • Student writing and research
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Teaching and learning practices
  • Student achievement, engagement and motivation

The primary challenges are in the following areas:

  • Faculty preparation and professional development
  • Managing the hardware, software and network
  • Having focused objectives for the initiatives


“One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative”

Bebell, D. & Kay, R. (2010). One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(2). Retrieved 26 September 2012 from

Abstract (from site above): This paper examines the educational impacts of the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative (BWLI), a pilot program that provided 1:1 technology access to all students and teachers across five public and private middle schools in western Massachusetts. Using a pre/post comparative study design, the current study explores a wide range of program impacts over the three years of the project’s implementation. Specifically, the current document provides an overview of the project background, implementation, research design and methodology, and a summary of the quantitative results. The study details how teaching and learning practices changed when students and teachers were provided with laptops, wireless learning environments, and additional technology resources. The results found that both the implementation and outcomes of the program were varied across the five 1:1 settings and over the three years of the student laptop implementation. Despite these differences, there was evidence that the types of educational access and opportunities afforded by 1:1 computing through the pilot program led to measurable changes in teacher practices, student achievement, student engagement, and students’ research skills.


“1:1 Laptop Initiatives: A Summary of Research Findings Across Six States”

Friday Institute White Paper Series, Number Four • March 2011

Rodolfo Argueta, Ed.D., Jessica Huff, Jennifer Tingen, Jenifer O. Corn, Ph.D.

Quote from summary in article:

Evaluators of the 1:1 initiatives in Florida, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia found generally positive relationships between 1:1 environments and various aspects of the teaching and learning process. They reported that teachers used the laptops to develop instructional materials, access information related to instruction, and communicate with colleagues; students used laptops to complete classroom assignments and conduct research.


“Learning to Write in the Laptop Classroom”

Mark Warschauer, University of California, Irvine, 2009

Quote from conclusion:

The daily use of laptops in our 10 case study schools had a major effect on instruction at each stage of the writing process, including pre-writing, drafting, rewriting, and dissemination. Though the particular way that computers were used was shaped by the nature of K-12 schooling, and especially its emphasis on high-stakes testing, overall student writing in these schools became better integrated into instruction, more iterative, more public and collaborative, more purposeful and authentic, and more diverse in genre, while students’ written products improved in quality and student writing became more autonomous (for details, see Warschauer, 2006, 2008). One-to-one laptop use is not a magic bullet to solve all educational problems, but our study suggests that it has a substantial positive impact on the teaching and learning of writing.


“A Study of One-to-One Computer Use in Mathematics and Science Instruction at the Secondary Level in Henrico County Public Schools”

Andrew A. Zucker, Education Development Center, Inc.

Raymond McGhee, SRI International

Funded by the National Science Foundation—REC: 0231147—SRI International—SRI Project P12269

Quote from summary:

Despite these challenges with computer hardware, wireless networking, and the need for teachers to learn new skills, the prevailing view among people we interviewed in HCPS was that the benefits of one-to-one computing outweighed any difficulties. According to a variety of respondents across the four school sites, the use of laptops helped students, teachers, and parents alike to reach greater levels of communication and productivity. The majority of teachers found the laptops to be especially helpful in affording them greater flexibility and versatility for professional and instructional purposes. These teachers used multimedia software and Internet Web sites that not only were beneficial in creating lesson plans but also helped to increase student engagement and motivation. The students interviewed also reported that the laptop helped them manage and organize their work inside and outside of class.



Never Mind the Laptops

Bob Johnstone, (August 17, 2003), ISBN-10: 0595658970

From book description:

Bob Johnstone provides a definitive answer to the conundrum of computers in the classroom. His conclusion: we owe it to our kids to educate them in the medium of their time.

In this book he tells the extraordinary story of the world’s first laptop school. How daring educators at an independent girls’ school in Melbourne, Australia, empowered their students by making laptops mandatory. And how they solved all the obstacles to laptop learning, including teacher training.


1-to-1 Learning, Second Edition: Laptop Programs That Work

Pamela Livingston, International Society For Technology In Education; 2 edition (June 1, 2009), ISBN-10: 1564842541.—1-Learning-Second-Programs/dp/1564842541/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348562126&sr=1-1&keywords=1+to+1+laptops

From the book description:

You’ll find practical planning advice, case studies of successful programs, and a host of implementation resources. Livingston updates this new edition with chapters on 1-to-1 leadership, tablet PCs, and the shift toward learner-centric educational environments. Also included in the new edition is a handy resource mapping the new Web 2.0 tools to various subject areas.

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