July 2017

No. 10886: One-To-One Technology and Student Outcomes

Marie C. Hull, Katherine Duch

New technologies offer many promises to improve student learning, but efforts to bring them to the classroom often fail to produce improvements to student outcomes. A notable exception to this pattern is one-to-one laptop programs. While early evaluations of these programs have been encouraging, they are costly to implement, and no study has investigated the impact of a one-to-one technology program implemented on a large scale over a multiyear period. With administrative school data, this paper uses a differences-in-differences strategy to evaluate the impact of a one-to-one laptop program implemented in a midsize school district. We find that while short-term impacts of the program were modest, math scores improved by 0.15–0.17 standard deviations in the medium term (4–5 years post-implementation). We also investigate heterogeneity in impacts on test scores and the impact of the program on several measures of student behavior.