A major study found that schools with 1:1 computing programs have fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance than schools with a higher ratio of students to computers. The study was conducted by Project RED (Revolutionizing Education), a national initiative aimed to show that investing in technology can boost student achievement.
What is most telling about the findings is that for 1:1 programs to really have an impact, they must be properly implemented. Nothing surprising really – it’s common sense. Purchasing the technology is one thing, making sure it is used properly is another. The study highlights certain implementation strategies that lead to success: regular electronic formative assessments, frequent collaboration of teachers in professional learning communities, individualization of instruction.
Keys to success:
- Leadership and vision – “when principals receive specialized training and technology [is] properly implemented, the benefits increase even more,”
- Daily technology use – “…underutilization might be a reflection of too little professional development, both for teachers and school leaders. Professional development is important not just for educators in knowing how to use technology effectively in their classes, but also for administrators in leading transformational change in their schools.”
- Infusing intervention classes with technology – “Technology-infused intervention programs were the top predictor for improved high-stakes test scores, lower dropout rates, and improved discipline.”
- Use of social media makes a difference – “Sixty-five percent of responding schools that use social media saw a drop in disciplinary action, versus 56 percent of schools not using social media. More than half (52 percent) saw a reduction in dropout rates, whereas just 37 percent of schools not using social media saw a dropout rate reduction.”
Michael Gielniak, director of programs and development for the One-to-One Institute sums up the main finding of the study, “Schools with devices can help students learn, but proper implementation drives even greater gains.”
A chapter in the report will be dedicated to best practices and is available for free to schools come August. For more information, visit Project RED’s site. To read the eSchool News article, click here.