Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations

One-to-one Laptop Initiatives: Powerful Hubs of a Distributed Student Learning Network?

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Mark Earley


Recently many school districts have implemented one-to-one laptop programs where a group of students or all students receive their own laptop computer as part of the instructional process. Proponents of laptop programs hope when all teachers and all students have a personal computer of their own to use twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, student learning will be increased. Preliminary research on laptop programs has indicated teachers and students perceive an enhanced learning environment with greater enthusiasm for learning. This study explored whether the introduction of laptop technology changed the positive interactions between students, teachers, parents, and the resources for learning. If the connections between these key components of a learning network are modified by the introduction of ubiquitous laptop technology, the effect could be a potential transformation of the overall learning system. This study examined a junior high school laptop program during its third year of implementation. Five teachers and three student-parent dyads were interviewed multiple times over a six-month period. All teachers and students were asked to draw personal learning networks to describe a learning experience that utilized laptop computers. Data demonstrate changes in student learning networks and teacher instructional networks with the introduction of laptop technology. Teachers expanded their professional connections both within and outside of their current instructional environment. Extensive resources beyond the educational institution broadened the learning network for both students and teachers. There was an indication that the institutions media center became less relevant in the learning network of the students and teachers.