Ed Tech Cases Portal

Project Overview


The goals of the Ubiquitous Computing Implementation Research (UCIR) were:

  1. To identify, from the perspective of teachers and principals implementing 1-to-1 initiatives, the key district and school-level conditions influencing teaching and instructional process;

  2. To document typical classroom use and configuration within these 1-to-1 initiatives; and

  3. To explore these factors and how they might relate to each other to produce causal linkages.

Participants, Data, and Methods

The participants in this study were students, teachers, and administrators in four middle schools (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) in Virginia and California. Researchers identified these schools primarily through purposive sampling. The principal selection criteria of schools were the presence of 1:1 student to computer ratios in their classrooms as well as a history of integrating technology into the curriculum. Secondary selection criteria included (a) nature of 1-to-1 computing initiative; (b) duration of implementation 2 years or more; and (c) willingness to participate. A team of four researchers spent approximately 2 days collecting data at each school site. The data sources were formal and informal interviews, direct observations, and site documents. Observations, interviews and/or focus groups were conducted with: 1) four to eight teachers from each school; 2) a sample of students from each school; 3) the technology coordinators or resource/media specialist for each school; 4) the principals from each school; and 5) the superintendent and assistant superintendents from each district.

Global Questions and Products

The researchers addressed three global questions regarding social, political and technical contexts:

  • Who is involved in the leadership behind the 1-to-1 computing implementation and how are the associated leadership responsibilities distributed and/or shared? What is the extent and nature of the leadership for the 1-to-1 computing initiative at the next higher level of the system (i. e. district or state)?

  • How has the accountability and assessment context of the No Child Left Behind legislation, and other political and normative aspects of the setting shaped the sites goals and objectives, expected outcomes and implementation of the ubiquitous computing initiative?

  • What are all the ways 1-to-1 computing is configured and used in teaching and learning? (A comprehensive list and matrix of the project's specific research questions can be accessed via the Research Questions link at left.)

The researchers produced four school site cases studies and three cross-site analyses focused on the three major research questions. These documents are intended to support school administrators and teachers in addressing key social, political, and technical factors when implementing a 1-to-1 computing initiative. (PDF versions of these documents are available via the School Cases and Cross-case Analysis links above.)