Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Middle Grades Education - Mathematics (Ed.D)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. David Glassmeyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Laurie Dias

Third Advisor

Dr. Belinda Edwards


One-to-one (1:1) initiatives in education refer to the practice in which schools provide each student with a personal computing device, such as a laptop or tablet, for students to have access to the internet to complete coursework and access digital course materials. One-to-one initiatives are becoming more popular as more school districts are investing in them as there is an increased emphasis on technology use to support students’ technological skills. This qualitative case study informed by phenomenography aimed to investigate how eighth-grade Algebra 1 students at a school district implementing a one-to-one laptop initiative perceived their learning and engagement in their Algebra 1 class. Social Constructivism, the Bioecological Model of Influences on Student Engagement, and the Technology Acceptance Model served as the theoretical foundation for the study. Six classroom observations and 10 interviews were conducted with 10 participants to gather data. Findings revealed that students found the laptops beneficial, students perceived the laptops to be a result of the 21st-century initiatives in schools, and students perceived and reported that the laptops helped them learn mathematics. Findings also revealed that students found the laptops to be distracting at times, a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and students described that they learned more math because of the autonomy in their learning from the resources provided. Educators can use mathematics software (such as Delta Math and Desmos) to help support student learning of the content, student autonomy, and self-efficacy as it has been proven to be effective in student learning and engagement when used properly. However, educators should be mindful of the potential distractions that can arise from one-to-one laptops.

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