Portraits Of One-To-One Learning Environments In A New Learning Ecology

John Lee, Hiller Spires, Eric Wiebe, Karen Hollebrands, Carl Young


This research reports on four teachers in a new learning ecology prompted by one-to-one computing. The new learning ecology involves a set of unique conditions for teaching and learning including: (a) immediate and constant access to information; (b) intensity, relevance and personalization of learning; (c) highly developed student dispositions; and (d) highly developed teacher capacities. The study utilizes a multi-case method approach with four high school core subject classes, including data from classroom observations, interviews, and teacher materials. The findings suggest that teachers searched for ways to situate one-to-one computing in their teaching through a variety of negotiated actions: (a) incorporating the computer as an ancillary tool, (b) supporting existing pedagogical strategies, and (c) establishing the computer as a hub for learning activities. Additionally, important consistencies regarding the nature of the learning ecology emerged in the classrooms.  These findings are an initial attempt to create a robust theoretical frame for one-to-one computing within a new learning ecology.


One-to-one computing, learning ecology, technology, pedagogy

Full Text:



Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecologies perspective. Human Development, 49, 193-224.

Bebell, D. (2005). Technology promoting student excellence: An investigation of the first year of 1:1 computing in New Hampshire middle schools. Boston, MA: Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative, Boston College.

Bebell, D., & Kay, R. (2010). 1:1 computing: A summary of the quantitative results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(2). Retrieved from http://www.jtla.org.

Bebell, D., & O’Dwyer, L.M. (2010). Educational outcomes and research from one-to-one computing settings. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(1). Retrieved from http://www.jtla.org.

Bebell, D., Clarkson, A., & Burraston, J. (2014). Cloud computing: Short term impacts of 1:1 computing in the sixth grade. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 13,129-151. Retrieved from http://www.jite.org/documents/Vol13/JITEv13IIPp129152Bebell0739.pdf

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Recent advances in research on human development. In R.K. Silbereisen, K. Eyferth, & G. Rudinger (Eds.), Development as action in context: Problem behavior and normal youth development (pp. 287–309). New York: Springer.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of child development, 6, 187–249.

Brown, J.S. (1999). Learning, working, and playing in the digital age. Serendip. Retrieved from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/seelybrown/

Brown, J.S., Pendleton-Jullian, A., & Adler, R. (2010). From engagement to ecotone: Land-grant colleges in the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.changemag.org

Cavanaugh, C., Dawson, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2008). Conditions, processes and consequences of one-to-one computing in K-12 classrooms: The impact on teaching practices and student achievement. In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 1956-1963). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Christensen, C. M., Horn, M. B., & Johnson, C. W. (2008). Disrupting class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Clotfelter, C.C., Ladd, H.F., & Vigdor, J.L. (2009). The academic achievement gap in grades 3 through 8. Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(2), 398-419.

Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: Reforming schools through technology, 1980-2000. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Dede, C. (2009). Determining, developing and assessing the capabilities of “future-ready” students. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Dede, C., & Rockman, S. (2007). Lessons learned from studying how innovations can achieve scale. Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education, 5(Spring), 4-10.

Derndorfer, C. (2011). All 1-to-1 ICT4E programs around the world and evaluation metrics for them. Retrieved from: https://edutechdebate.org/olpc-in-peru/all-1-to-1-ict4e-programs-around-the-world-and-evaluation-metrics-for-them/#IDComment335754995

Donovan, L., Green, T., & Hartley, K. (2010). An examination of one-to-one computing in the middle school: Does increased access bring about increased student engagement? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 42(4), 423-441.

Ertmer, P. A., Bai, H., Dong, C., Khalil, M., Park, S. H., & Wang, L. (2002). Online professional development: Building administrators’ capacity for technology leadership. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 19(1), 5–11.

Eteokleous, N. (2008). Evaluating computer technology integration in a centralized school system. Computers & Education, 51, 669-686.

Gerard, L. F., Bowyer, J. B., & Linn, M. C. (2008). Principal leadership for technology-enhanced learning in science. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17(1), 1-18.

Gorder, L. M. (2007). Creating classrooms of the future: Connecting classrooms with one-to-one computing. [Article]. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 73(4), 19-38.

Greenhow, C. Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. (2009). Web 2.0 and classroom research: What path should we take now? Educational Researcher, 38(4), 246-259.

Grimes, D., & Warschauer, M. (2008). Learning with laptops: A multi-method case study.

Journal of Educational Computing Research, 38(3), 305-332.

Gulek, J., & Demirtas, H. (2005). Learning with technology: The impact of laptop use on

student achievement. ERS Spectrum, 23(4), 4-20.

HCPSTLI, Henrico County Public Schools Teaching and Learning Initiative. (2008). Henrico County Public Schools Teaching and Learning Initiative Homepage. Retrieved from http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/administration/instruction/technology/technology.html

Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(3), 223-252.

Ito, M. (2009). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., Boyd, D., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P. Pascoe, C. & Robinson, L. (2009). Living and learning with new media: Summary of findings from the digital youth project (Project Summary). New York, NY: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Johnson, L., Levine, A., Scott, C., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2009) The Horizon Report: 2009 Economic Development Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Kaiser Family Foundation (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18-year olds. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/mh012010pkg.cfm

Knight Commission. (2009). Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://www.knightcomm.org/read-the-report-and-comment/

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lei, J., Conway, P. F., & Zhao, Y. (2007). The digital pencil: One-to-one computing for children. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Lier, L. (2004). The ecology and semiotics of language learning: A sociocultural perspective. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Mendicino, M., Razzaq, L., & Heffernan, N. T. (2009). Comparison of traditional homework with computer supported homework. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(3), 331-359.

Mouza, C. (2008). Learning with laptops: Implementation and outcomes in an urban, under-privileged school. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 40(4), 447-472.

Muir, M., Owen, A., Christensen, R., Knezek, G., Gibson, I., Albion, P., …Norris, C. (2006). Lessons learned from 1-to-1 laptop initiatives: Reflections on critical components. In Anonymous (Ed.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 16th Annual Conference, Orlando. (pp. 4366-4371). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

NC One-To-One Learning Collaborative (NC1LC). (2014). Welcome to the NC one-to-one learning collaborative. Retrieved from http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/1to1/

National Research Council. (1999). How people learn: Bridging research and practice. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

National Research Council. (2008). Research on future skill demands: A workshop summary. Washington, DC: Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.

National Research Council. (2010). Preparing teachers: Building evidence for sound policy. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

One Laptop per Child (OLPC). (2010). One laptop per child. Retrieved from http://laptop.org/en/.

Penuel, W. R. (2006). Implementation and effects of one-to-one computing initiatives: A research synthesis. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(3), 329-348.

Piburn, M., & Sawada, D. (n.d.). Reformed teaching observation protocol (RTOP) reference manual (ACEPT Tech. Rep. IN00-3). Phoenix: Arizona State University, Arizona Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers.

Richardson, J., Mcleod, S., Flora, K., Sauers, N., Kannan, S., & Sincar, M. (2013). Large-Scale 1:1 Computing Initiatives: An Open Access Database. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT [Online], 9(1). Available: http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewarticle.php?id=1584.

Roderick, M., Easton, J., & Sebring, P. 2009. The Consortium on Chicago School Research: A new model for the role of research in urban school reform. Chicago, IL: CCSR.

Sclater, J., Sicoly, F., Abrami, P. C., & Wade, C. A. (2006). Ubiquitous technology integration in Canadian public schools: year one study. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 32(1). Retrieved from, http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/80/75.

Shapley, K., Sheehan, D., Maloney, C., & Caranikas-Walker, F. (2009). Evaluation of the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot: Final outcomes for a four-year study (2004–05 to 2007–08). Austin, TX: Texas Center for Educational Research.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Warschauer, M. (2006). Laptops and literacy: Learning in the wireless classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Weston, M. E., & Bain, A. (2010). The end of techno-critique: The naked truth about one-to-one laptop initiatives and educational change. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(6). Retrieved from https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/view/1611

Yin, R. K. (2012). Applications of case study research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Zheng, B., Arada, K., Nilya, M. & Warschauer, M. (2014). One-to-one laptops in K-12 classrooms: Voices of students. Pedagogies: An International Journal 9(4), 279-299.

Zucker, A. A. (2004). Developing a research agenda for ubiquitous computing in schools. Journal for Educational Computing Research. 30(4), 371-386. Retrieved from http://www.ubiqcomputing.org/

Zucker, A., & Light, D. (2009). Laptop programs for students. Science, 323(5910), 82-85.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

e-ISSN: 1694-2116

p-ISSN: 1694-2493