As supported in my article, “Does One to One Technology Improve Language Arts Scores?” attached below, one- to- one technology when used properly does help students to become better writers. Although it is common sense, research proves that when students see that they are spelling words incorrectly frequently they will learn to self correct. The same goes for the grammar check capability in word processing. Also, with the availability of 1:1, I am MUCH more efficient in my classroom, allowing students more time for writing. Of course, it is not as cumbersome for students writing multiple drafts when writing digitally. This allows more time, as does the ease for teacher give feedback for writing through Edmodo and/ or Google Drive.
As for the choice for students to use iPads or computers/laptops it really seems to be based on personal preference. When we made the switch to iPads from computers I was very nervous that I would not get as much writing out of the students. With our first major writing piece with the iPads, I gave students the option to check out a laptop to use. No one chose the laptop over the iPad out of 53 students. Before we made the switch to iPads, I was working on my Master’s. I forced myself to do all my graduate work, papers, research, online discussions, on the iPad for two weeks. At first it was cumbersome, but then, I did get used it it. Truly though, it was only tolerable; given the choice, I would choose the laptop.
We have had some students bring in their own Bluetooth Keyboard. We haven’t encouraged it because we don’t want students/parents to feel obligated to purchase it. I am sure in the future we will have some sort of policy.