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Re: [school-discuss] sufficient computer:student ratios

Matt, I know of no studies, merely our experience with our teachers as we gradually increased the number of PCs in their rooms. They all said they needed at least a third PCs per class for their students in order to form a center that they could rotate the students throughout the day to use the PCs effectively. A 3:1 ratio with a 6 hour workday means that in a classroom, each student get access for at least 2 hours per day. Think about how many hours per day you access a PC to work...

Ask your teachers how many PCs they need at a minimum to use them throughout the day, they'll tell you.


Matt Oquist wrote:

Can you point to any studies that confirm the 3:1 minimum ratio? I've
been asked by a school board member here to find (among other things)
some studies on the issue, and since you're mentioning it now, I'm
asking you first. :)


Daniel Howard wrote: [Fri Sep 29 2006, 03:57:22AM EDT]
Steve Hargadon wrote:
The lessons seem to be:
  1. Decision-making about technology in most schools is not made by
the teachers themselves, but by higher-level policy-makers. And this
is a political game, with lots of money at stake.
  2. Teachers are extremely busy (it was a little heart-wrenching to
hear John S. talk about the restructuring in his area that has made it
even harder for teachers). We cannot place the burden on them to learn
about and integrate technology into what they do, as most simply don't
have the time and are measured on other factors.
  3. There are early-adopter teachers who are utilizing technology
actively in their classroom, but their adoption pattern is not the
same as the average teacher, and so attempts to roll out technology
initiatives on their experience historically haven't proven effective.
  4. Even though billions of dollars have been spent on educational
technology, the computer has not really penetrated or transformed the
average classroom experience.
  5. For technology to be truly integrated into the classroom, it
will have to be so reliable and easy to use so that average teacher
can participate in a grass-roots movement to bring it into the
classroom, since it will likely buck the trend of decision-making at
higher levels.

Steve, add one more to this list:
6. There need to be enough computers in each classroom so that all students can access them daily for integration across curriculae. A 3:1 student to PC ratio appears to be a minimum.


Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation
Open Source Software Engineering Consultant

Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation