Whatever Happened To 1:1 Laptops?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

When the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the nation in 2020, schools closed swiftly. Districts pivoted to remote instruction. Then inequalities showed up just as quickly, especially in big city schools and rural areas where the “digital divide” persisted. Stories surged in social and mainstream media of administrators distributing laptops and tablets to children and youth who had no devices at home and also setting up locations where the Internet could be accessed. Everyone had to have a device and use of the Internet to do remote instruction.

Quick distribution of devices to individual students reminded me of an innovation that began a few decades ago called 1:1 laptops. At that time policy entrepreneurs, vendors, and iconic technology companies claimed that if every single student had a personal laptop, then there would be more teaching and it would be faster and better. So whatever happened to this innovation?

When and why…

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