Anytime Anywhere Learning
More information »

Author: Nick Sauers, 1to1 Schools.net | September 27th, 2012

This past year, I studied the impact becoming a 1:1 school has had on approximately 40 midwestern schools, and took place in Iowa during 2011-2012. My study analyzed whether or not 1:1 teachers reported integrating technology differently and also if those teachers reported higher levels of technology competency than their non-1:1 peers. Those two issues have major implications for school leaders as they decide whether or not 1:1 is right for them. Historically, schools have spent millions of dollars on technologies that have failed to be integrated successfully. Anyone who has been in education long can tell stories of the “latest and greatest” technology that has come and gone. In many ways 1:1 initiatives are very different than earlier technology initiatives. The biggest difference may be that in the case of 1:1 schools, the technology is placed in the hands of each student. Most other technology initiatives provided a piece of technology to the teacher, and students may or may not have actually interacted with those technologies. As schools decide whether or not to implement a 1:1 program, they want to know about anticipated results. This study helps to answer some of those questions.

In order to compare similar schools and teachers in my study, I used a statistical technique to find non-1:1 schools that were very similar to the 1:1 schools in the study on multiple measures. My final sample included over 100 schools and 900 teachers. Teachers who chose to participate completed a short online survey that was emailed to them.

Here are two examples of questions posed in the study:

1) Integration Question (Response on 5 point scale):

To what extent do you present students in your typical class with work that involves using computers or the Internet in the following ways?

Collaborating online with others from outside the school
Using collaboration tools to work with other students in the school

2)Competency Question:

To what extent are you skilled at using digital technology for instruction?

- Not at all
- Small extent
- Moderate extent
- Large extent

Competency Statistic: Teachers at 1:1 schools reported scores that were .29 of a standard deviation higher than their non-1:1 peers.

Integration Statistic: The findings from this question were also quite powerful. On average, teachers at 1:1 schools reported scores that were 0.59 of a standard deviation higher than teachers at non-1:1 schools on the 4-point scale representing how much they integrated technology into their classrooms.

The results from my study indicated that 1:1 teachers did report that they integrate technology at much higher levels than their peers. Teachers were asked 14 questions about various technologies that they used in their classroom and their responses were used to create integration scores. It was very clear that 1:1 teachers scored much higher in their use of the various technologies. If schools truly value increasing technology integration, 1:1 implementation seems to be one successful solution.

A second part of my study found that 1:1 teachers scored much higher on technology competency scores. These scores were based on teachers’ self-reported competencies with technology in the classroom and in their personal lives. This finding also has real significance for school leaders who want to increase the technology competency of their teachers. Having teachers who are more technologically competent may certainly be a desire of schools trying to produce more tech savvy students!

These findings may generate as many questions as they do answers. Anyone who has worked in or with 1:1 districts know that there are certainly challenges to successful implantation. We have seen many districts that have had great success, and others that have struggled. The need for continued study and analysis by researchers and educators is imperative if we are to help blaze a trail of success for others! If you would like to discuss my study further or chat about other issues related to 1:1 schools please feel free to contact me at nck0208@gmail.com.

Nick Sauers

Related Communities
This article is not related to any community.

« Return | Top

Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License