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The Keys to a Successful Implementation of a 1 to 1 Laptop Program in K-12 Education

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Essay title: The Keys to a Successful Implementation of a 1 to 1 Laptop Program in K-12 Education

For the past ten years a debate about the merits of using computers, specifically laptops, has been waging on the capability to improve a student’s ability to learn. This has been particularly significant in the past five years for two reasons, the introduction of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, and the dramatic price drops on the equipment itself. No Child Left Behind seeks to improve school and student quality, partly through the use technology (neirtec.org, 2002). The decrease in price of computer equipment made it feasible for even the smallest and poorest schools to connect their students to the Internet. Out of this grew the concept of one to one computing as a realistic option for schools looking to educate their students in the 21st century. Studies show that school attendance rises, and students are more motivated, but there is little data to show meaningful improvement academically for students participating in 1 to 1 computing programs. These initiatives are being hampered by the lack of a uniform “roadmap” to implementation. Proper implementation is the key to seeing technology drive whole school improvement. I have determined there are five factors that result in success of a 1 to 1 program. These factors are Financial Support, Professional Support, Administrative Support, Technical Support, and Vision. It is my argument that all five of the factors must be in place in order for a 1 to 1 program to succeed.

Critics of 1 to 1 learning, point to two main factors that support their assertion that laptops do not belong in classrooms, the lack of data supporting an improvement in student achievement, and the cost. Many also see laptops as expensive toys that do nothing, but distract students from the task at hand. Some of these students have complained

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