Michigan State University (MSU) researchers analyzed years of studies on "one-to-one" laptop programs, and found such programs that take a comprehensive approach were linked to higher test scores in English, math, science, and writing.
The researchers reviewed nearly 100 academic studies on one-to-one laptop programs dating back to 2001.
Although the programs have spread widely in the past several decades, so has the debate about whether they are cost-effective and beneficial to educational outcomes.
"I believe this technology, if implemented correctly, is worth the cost and effort because it lifts student achievement, enhances engagement and enthusiasm among students, improves teacher-student relationships, and promotes 21st century skills such as technological proficiency and problem solving," says MSU professor Binbin Zheng.
One-to-one laptop programs can improve educational outcomes when there is teacher support, suitable technical assistance and professional development for teachers, and appropriate implementation with the curriculum. Successful programs can improve standardized test scores, as well as writing skills.
"Students received more feedback on their writing, edited and revised their papers more often, drew on a wider range of resources to write, and published or shared their work with others more often," Zheng says. She notes more in-depth studies are needed to further identify what works and what does not with one-to-one laptop programs.
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