This study investigates students’ use of one-to-one laptops for various activities and the impact of one-to-one computing on student learning and school culture. Based on data collected from surveys and interviews of teachers, students, and parents in a Midwestern middle school over one academic year, this study answers the following major questions:
1) How did students use their laptops?
2) What impact did the one-to-one laptop program have on student learning and school culture?
3) What were the perceptions of and concerns over one-to-one computing?
A sound understanding of these issues is increasingly important as more and more schools are joining in this one-to-one computing initiative and more money is being invested. Results revealed that students used their laptops for various tasks related to learning, communication, expression, and exploration. Students gained significantly in their technology proficiency. The one-to-one laptops have provided great opportunities and resources for teaching and learning, but also raised issues such as student discipline problems, concerns on digital literacy, and fear of over-dependency on information technology.