According to some of the studies taken, the biggest area of improvement has been with writing skills. These same studies also conclude that the more a student uses a laptop, the better their writing skills become (Bebell & Kay, 2010; Gulek & Demirtas, 2005). Another study (Suhr, Hernandez, Grimes, & Warschauer, 2010) showed that students that had access to a laptop and used it outperformed other students that didn’t have laptops. Studies also show that there have been increases on test scores with science classes but not math classes. The use of a laptop, depending on how long it has been used, will increase a student’s GPA, the longer the use the higher the GPA. The use of a laptop also has the benefit of helping students with their technological skills.
The use of the One to One Initiative has also been shown to improve what students think of school and how they behave (these improvements include participation in class, attendance, behavior, motivation, and teacher practices). Tests conducted with 44 Texas middle schools showed that students that attended the one-to-one schools were more satisfied with school and were sent to the office less than students that didn’t attend a one-to-one school.
The students aren't the only ones changing due to the new initiative. The teachers at schools that implement the one-to-one initiative have been seen to do more group and individual work with their students. Teachers have also been better able to collaborate with each other (Burns & Polman, 2006).
Most of the schools that use the one-to-one initiative have seen improvements but not all. Some schools don’t use the initiative due to budget cuts and having seen no improvements in their schools. The only way to see if each school is willing to pay for chromebooks for each student is to ask the administrators
Interviews done with Kyle Kruse (superintendent of New Haven High School) and Nate Offard (student) provide some insight as to what people think of the situation. Mr. Kruse said that the use of chromebooks would help New Haven Schools by allowing students to take tests online, which would help improve scores, technology aptitude, and career advancement. He said that chromebooks would make education, ”quicker, faster, better, and more fulfilling.” He also explained that technology would become more advanced and more involved with education.
Nate Offard believed that chromebooks aren’t yet used fully by the students that have the chance to use them for school work. He also believed that technology may replace books and paper altogether in the future.
New Haven High School and Middle School are being very trusting by giving every student (that is willing to pay a fee) a chromebook to use at school and at home. There are a set of rules which applies to every student. These rules are in place to keep students from accessing content that could be harmful to the school’s network. The program Hapara is used by the school to monitor what the students are doing on their chromebooks, and it allows the teachers a different level of interaction with their students.
There are two different ways a student can use a chromebook. One of these ways (the most commonly used) is for students to pay a 20 dollar fee at the beginning of each year for the privilege of taking the chromebook home. The other way a student can use a chromebook is for them to rent one, from whoever manages them at the school, every day one is required for their classes. Just like any other laptop, a chromebook has a battery and charging station. The charging stations are in place for students to charge their chromebooks before school or another time if it is convenient and allowed.
How the chromebooks are used in class is up to each teacher. Some teachers use them for similar purposes. These can include researching a paper or finding out how to do something. Another use would be to communicate with the teachers and other students through programs that the students are allowed to use. These features allows students to work outside of school and in groups while in school. This helps students learn how to work with others better, improving their chances of having a successful or easier life once they get out of high school.
What all of this information tells us is that the world of education is changing and always will be. How it will change will only be known in the future. -by Josh Thurman