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Research and inquiry

Before starting a digital device programme, take time to review what you know and believe about learning, and research what makes a difference for learners.

This will help clarify the impact that 1:1 or BYOD programmes can have on learning outcomes and teaching practice.

  • What are your theories of learning?
  • How do your students learn best?
  • What creates deeper engagement in learning? 
  • Why is self-directed learning and student voice important?
  • How will skills like critical thinking, risk taking, collaboration, creative thinking, and problem solving foster lifelong learning?
  • How might the role of the teacher change with the use of 1:1 technology?

Develop a community of inquiry, with teachers as researchers, to help embed your digital device programme into the school and support continuous improvement. Consider what ongoing research and feedback will allow your programme to be assessed and refined.

  • How will you know that the programme is having an impact on student learning?
  • How will you identify effective teaching practice using digital devices? 
  • How could you use communities of inquiry to support teacher collaboration and professional development?

Dr. David Parsons, Associate Professor, Information Technology at Massey University, investigated the BYOD initiative at Orewa College to integrate one-to-one ICTs into the learning process. He explains the digital divide is not only about access but about how devices are used.


The following research on digital device programmes may also be helpful.

(2012) Bridging digital divides in the learning process: Challenges and implications of integrating ICTs
This paper investigates an initiative by a New Zealand School to integrate one-to-one ICTs into the learning process, called "bring your own device" (BYOD).

(2012) An investigation into how growing accessibility and interactivity in ICT is being managed in schools both in New Zealand and overseas
A sabbatical report by Dominic Killalea, Deputy Principal, Wellington High School; accessed from the Educational Leaders website.  

(2011) ICT for teaching and ICT for learning: They are not the same
Developments in technology, and particularly the rise in smart phones and tablet-based technologies such as the iPad, have magnified the difference between ICT for teaching and ICT for learning. Schools need to fully understand the difference between the two and how this will impact both their ICT infrastructure, and also how they may wish to provision the school with devices. From Computers in New Zealand schools Vol 23, No2, 2011

(2010) 1-1 in Education: Current practice, international comparative research evidence and policy implications
This OECD Education working paper by Oscar Valiente summarises evidence about 1:1 initiatives in education, drawing on official websites, program evaluations, and academic meta-reviews. Information is provided about the policy expectations, program designs, and challenges for an effective implementation of 1:1 initiatives in education.

(2010) One‐to‐one computing programs only as effective as their teachers
This eSchool News article by Meris Stansbury reviews a compilation of four new studies of one-to-one computing projects in K-12 schools. Several factors are identified as key to the projects' success, including adequate planning, stakeholder buy-in, and strong school or district leadership. The researchers say the most important factor of all is the teaching practices of instructors, suggesting school laptop programs are only as effective as the teachers who apply them.

(2009) School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why best evidence synthesis
The big finding of the BES is that when school leaders promote and/or participate in effective teacher professional learning, this has twice the impact on student outcomes across a school than any other leadership activity. New Zealand principals spend less time on those activities that make the most difference than many of their international peers. Author(s): Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, Claire Lloyd (The University of Auckland).

Browse all BES cases
A complete list of all 32 cases from across the Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) publications on Education Counts. The BES bring together research evidence about what works for diverse (all) learners in education.

For more research go to the Research and readings section of Enabling e-Learning


Step-by-step guides

School Transformation Survey
Access a free online survey that measures educators’ and leaders' perceptions on the current state of innovative teaching practices in their school or class. The surveys can be used to measure progress by establishing a baseline of your school's current teaching practices using the initial survey results, and then conducting subsequent research every year thereafter to assess how those practices have evolved. Developed from Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL), sponsored by Microsoft.

School Transformation Toolkit
A collection of strategies and practical resources to support school leaders as they engage in transforming leading and learning at their site. The School Transformation Toolkit is divided into three key sections: programs, resources, and learning.

EDtalks – BYOD
Video clips featuring educational experts sharing different aspects of BYOD from the EDtalks website.

BYOD guide
This guide, created 2012 for the Ministry of Education in Alberta, examines the use of BYOD models in schools. It looks at the potential opportunities and benefits, as well as the considerations, risks and implications that arise when schools allow students and staff to use personally owned devices in the classroom and school environments. Strategies, tips and techniques are included to address the considerations and manage the risks. This document is sourced from the Alberta Education website .

Ten safe bets for school IT
Good strategic planning that sees IT decisions as a core part of supporting students achieve the desired learning outcomes, will always produce the best results. This CORE Education blog post identifies 10 key technical issues for schools to consider when planning to develop their school network.

Thinking about BYOD
A blog post from Derek Wenmoth providing a framework for devices and their purpose. He discusses specified and non-specified devices related to the purpose of the devices in learning. 

The BYOD debate – pros and cons
Schools should adopt policies allowing students to bring in and use their own computing devices. The pros and cons of this statement are recorded on the Education Technology for School Leaders site.

e-Learning community discussions

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