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Running Head: EFFECTS OF A 1:1 CLASSROOM

Effects of a 1:1 Classroom on Student Achievement


David McPeak
ETD 624
Saginaw Valley State University

EFFECTS OF A 1:1 CLASSROOM

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect that a 1:1 classroom has on student
achievement. Students from six high school social studies classes participated in the research
study. The research included gathering results of a student homework, test score averages, and
final grade averages for one semester. The classroom was equipped with a set of Chromebooks.
The Chromebooks were available to the students whenever they wanted to use them and the
teacher attempted to use them in a structured way at least once a week.

Keywords: Device, Digital Citizenship, Data, Technology, and Project-Based Learning

EFFECTS OF A 1:1 CLASSROOM

Table of Contents
Chapter II Literature Review
Introduction..4
Implementation of Technology........5
Planning Lessons in the 1:1 Classroom...6
The 1:1 Classroom and the Effect on Student Acheivement...7
Conclusion...9
Works Cited...11

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Chapter II: Literature Review


Technology had continually become an integral part of peoples everyday lives. Every
aspect of life had seemingly been handed over to some sort of technological advance.
Smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and other devices that automate many day-to-day tasks.
However, with all of these advances one area has been left woefully behind, the high school
classroom. Students were living their lives immersed in technology, but when they entered the
hallways of their school they were expected to conduct themselves in a different manner and in
many cases unplug. Over the past decade and a half many schools around the world were trying
to change the educational paradigm by switching to a 1:1 classroom. These were classrooms in
which every student was provided with some type of device such as a tablet, laptop, or
Chromebook. According to Dunleavy, Dexter, & Heinecke (2007) in 2000, there were
approximately 1000 American schools using a 1:1 model, or ubiquitous computing as it is
sometimes called, totaling over 150,000 laptops. Since 2000, the number of classrooms
implementing 1:1 technology increased astronomically. In their report, Lei & Zhao (2008) stated
at least 33 states have schools experimenting one-to-one computing projects and more schools
are seriously considering one-to-one programs. Even though many schools had begun to
implement these technological changes, the results on student acheivement and the effect that it
has on the classroom environemnt are still inconclusive. Crook, Sharma, and Wilson (2014)
illustrated this point best when they claimed there were also inconsistent reports of
improvements in student-centered learning, teaching and learning practicesthe majority of
studies showed that there were little or no increases in learning outcomes associated with these
1:1 laptop initiatives. Important concepts to consider when looking at 1:1 classrooms included

EFFECTS OF A 1:1 CLASSROOM

the implementation of the technology, planning lessons for the individual classroom, and the
effects on student achievement. The following literature review will summarize important
findings, strategies, and recommendations for how a 1:1 classroom can effect student
achievement.
Implementation of the Technology
If a school district was fortunate enough to provide their students with 1:1 technology,
one of the biggest obstacles faced early on was the proper way to implement it to maximize
results. Technology was wasted when teachers were not trained on the proper way to use the
devices and given ways to maximize it to enhance their lessons. Studies had shown that many
schools applied for grants, invested in the software programsand invested further time in
adapting the software to individual courses. But they didn'tensure that students were actually
using the software, or perhaps make it clear to them why it was potentially helpful. (Kamenetz,
2016). The technology alone did not improve results.
Teachers needed to learn how to engage their students and teach them how to use the
technology in an appropriate manner. When a school began to take on new challenges, such as a
1:1 initiative, it was anticipated that they also supported teachers and staff with the adjustment to
these changes with some form of professional development. As Christensen (2015) stated,
Research has suggested that these professional development sessions are essential to the
successful transition of teachers into a 1:1 initiative, though that outcome is much more likely
with increased amounts and quality of the professional development in question. Therefore,
there are numerous steps that a district can take to insure that they are setting themselves up for
the best chance to succeed. Marcinek (2015) gave five great ideas when he mentioned that every
school should define the goals of their program, define the role of the device in the classroom,

EFFECTS OF A 1:1 CLASSROOM

model the proper way to use the device, put it away when appropriate, and teach, model, and
support information literacy. As stated at the end of his article, The environment will not adapt
to them, they must adapt to the demand of the market. A 1:1 environment is simply a start.
Teacher training was an important aspect of implementing a 1:1 environment in a school,
or district. As November (2016) emphatically claimed in his report, Adding a digital device to
the classroom without a fundamental change in the culture of teaching and learning will not lead
to significant improvement. However, every teacher had differences in the way that they
implemented the devices within their classrooms. For instance, a teacher in a physical education
class implemented a device differently than a teacher in a science classroom. Christensen (2015)
echoed these sentiments when she stated, The pedagogy that teachers employ depends on those
same beliefs about technology, their content area, and education as a whole. In order for the
teachers to get behind the implementation of the devices, they believed that what they were
doing had a purpose. When a teacher did not perceive that use of technology was in alignment
with their curriculum, they were apt to use it less often. Other teacher characteristics that were
related with technology integration levels included a teachers pedagogical approach, their
confidence in their readiness to use technology, and their subject matter mastery (Penuel, 2006).
Once a district insured proper implementation, teachers began to focus on crafting meaningful
lessons in the individual classroom.
Planning Lessons in the 1:1 Classroom
It was essential that teachers created lessons that not only utilized the technology
properly but also in ways that engaged the student. This appeared to be an issue though because
many of todays teachers were trained in ways to teach in a traditional classroom. Penuel (2006)
pointed this out when he exclaimed that teachers are adapting traditional teaching strategies

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and having students work independently and in small groups, but they have not yet begun to
implement widely more student-centered strategies for instruction such as project-based
learning. Just as in a traditional classroom, students presented with too easy or too difficult
material eventually became bored and unmotivated. Studies had continually showed students
respond positively to technology and are motivated by technology, teachers should make
conscious efforts to create activities that encompass some form of technological tool. Motivated
students will be more likely to perform at their highest levels (Granito & Chernobilsky, 2012).
It appeared the best way to approach lesson planning in a 1:1 environment was the same as a
traditional environment, allow teachers the sovereignty to develop and administer the lessons
that best fit them and their individual style. Some of the most common laptop applications in the
classroom included essay writing and on-line grading in English, researching information on the
web, and developing power point presentations for projects in history/social science classes.
Students also used laptops to develop websites, access web-based lab projects and activities in
science, and design posters and logos. Note-taking for all subjects in the classroom was also
performed with laptops (Gulek & Demirtas, 2005). After having reviewed the different ways to
administer lessons in a 1:1 classroom, it became prudent to see what effect the environment had
on student achievement.
The 1:1 Classroom and the Effect on Student Achievement
With the increase in 1:1 initiatives across the nation, it had become increasingly
important to analyze the effect these environments had on student achievement. When the
research related to 1:1 programs was viewed, it was apparent that they had produced a wide
range of results. Some were positive and they showed that schools saw a large increase in writing
and literacy, science scores, and student grade point averages. Many schools found their

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programs produced increased student engagement, motivation, and attendance or decreased


discipline problems. These wide range of results were due to the fact that many schools had
implemented these programs with unique visions (Sauers & McLeod, 2012). However, there
were other studies that showed that student achievement did not always increase when 1:1
programs were initiated in their district.
Some studies saw a sizable increase in student achievement, whereas others found
performance to go down. According to a study conducted by Crook (2014), 1:1 laptops correlate
with greater student attainment in biology, chemistry and physics, in the schools studied, in
2011 and continued by saying with this particular laptop initiative, the 1:1 laptop environment
provided the catalyst for a paradigm shift, providing students with the opportunities for more
student-centered and personalized learning. He appeared to be arguing the point that it was not
laptops alone that caused the gain in student achievement, but rather the shift it caused in the
teachers methods. These sentiments were made even more clear by Delgado, Wardlow,
McKnight, and OMalley (2015) when they reported that Numerous studies report that 1:1
computing environments can lead to significantly higher scores on reading and math
achievement tests and overall grade point averages. Additionally, students in 1:1 computing
environments exhibited increased academic achievement, improved engagement, research skills
and collaboration skills. Achievement did not appear to be the only aspect of student
performance effected by an increase in technology. As Devlin, Feldhaus, and Bentrem (2013)
argued in their findings, These outcomes support findings that students in classes where
teachers utilize more information technology will report more engagement, more interest in the
subject matter, and a better understanding of complex subjects.

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Even though there were many studies that showed positive outcomes to achievement and
other aspects of classroom behaviors, there were numerous findings that showed negative effects
of 1:1 classrooms. Lei and Zhao (2008) discussed found in their study that 39.3% of the
teachers believed that it had become harder for their students to concentrate in class after
receiving the laptops, because the students were distracted by the Internet, email, games, music,
and so on. The most alarming study was also one of the most recent. In 2015 the Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development set out to analyze student access to computers and
how it related to student learning. In her report, Kamenetz (2016) summarized the findings of the
study by saying students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most
learning outcomes, even after controlling for social background and student demographics
perhaps the most disappointing finding in the report is that technology is of little help in bridging
the skills divide between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Swallows (2015) furthered
these findings when she saw negative results and wrote that many studies identified the
potential of technology as a tool for enhancing such partnerships, but emphasized the need for a
fundamental shift in pedagogical practices. Finally, Schimel (2015) found that computer use
in school had negative impacts on academic achievement in reading, and any computer use
seemed to have a negative impact on math and science scores.
Conclusion
In conclusion, the review of literature proved that there was no consensus on the
effect that 1:1 classrooms had on student achievement. The findings were varied and
differed quite a bit in their findings. Many of the studies agreed on the fact that proper
implementation and teacher training was imperative to having success with a 1:1 initiative.
Overall, the success and failure of a 1:1 initiative appeared to be linked to a teachers

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willingness to change the paradigm in their classroom. They needed to be willing to shift
their pedagogy to adapt to the technology that was in their classroom. The studies proved
that there was still much work to be done when investigating the effectiveness of 1:1
environments. All of the studies conceded that this technology was still too new and that
more study needed to be completed in order to fully understand the impact. These facts
proved the necessity for this study and the importance of its results.

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