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As School districts grapple with questions of security, economics, staff development, assessment, standards, the inevitable questions arises-do we put all of our computers in a lab or do we have one, two, three computers in each classroom?

One computer is a lonely (even frightening) machine if the goal is to have everyone write with word processing. But neat things can be done with just one computer (even writing)—and some things can actually work better with only one computer.

Our goal as educators is to help students understand that computer use is an integral part of the curriculum. Our goal is to also ensure that students meet the NETS technology competencies and that they have the computer skills to function in a technological society. It is important that computer activities include the 3 Cs (content, critical thinking, and computer skills).

There are many resources available to help teachers with one computer. Think about the curriculum and ask what could be improved. Consider whether a computer could provide some support in this area. Think about how the instruction needs to be structured to address the content effectively as well as to target students’ learning styles. The one-computer classroom can effectively address:

  • Whole Class Instruction
  • Cooperative Learning
  • And Individual Student Learning Activities
  • As well as Teacher Production Needs


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