Research and Program Evaluation

During the 2012-2013 school year, Chesterfield County Public Schools investigated six mobile devices to determine which would be best for anytime, anywhere learning. The pilot project sought to answer two essential questions:
  • What effect does the use of mobile computing devices have on students?
  • Is one mobile computing device better than another for use in the learning environment?
In the hands of skillful teachers and willing students, each device has advantages and disadvantages. Overall, the Chromebook -- a laptop computer with Google's Chrome operating system -- was determined to be the best fit mobile computing device for Chesterfield County Public Schools. For in-depth information from the 2012-2013 study of mobile devices, click here: Comparing Mobile Computing Devices.

Many studies show that academic achievement improves when students have access to mobile computing devices. The Research and Evaluation Department of Chesterfield County Public Schools reviewed several studies and presented its review of the scholarly literature of providing computers for students (often called one-to-one computing) here: CCPS review of scholarly literature.

One nationally representative research project, Project RED, found that when districts properly implement an initiative that provides every student with a computer, disciplinary action goes down, high-stakes test scores go up, fewer students drop out and more students graduate. Those results are illustrated in this chart (image credit: http://www.projectred.org/). 
Project RED concluded, “In general, respondents say that schools with a 1:1 student-computer ratio outperform non-1:1 schools on both academic and financial benefits” (Retrieved March 22, 2013, from www.projectred.org/about/research-overview/findings.html#three).

Curriculum goals of Chesterfield County Public Schools include making digital resources available in all classes at all grade levels through a personalized learning environment. Providing students with digital devices enables teachers and students to incorporate rich, interactive materials into daily learning. Providing Chromebooks to middle school students and eventually to high school students will also benefit students and teachers in elementary schools because technology currently housed in middle and high school computer labs will be shifted to elementary schools. This will also free additional classroom space in middle and high schools, eliminating the need for some trailers.