After more than 10 years studying laptop computing in schools, Saul Rockman (2003) concludes that one of the most important benefits of a laptop program is an increase in 21st century skills. "Developing the ability to learn independently, collaborate with peers to accomplish work, and communicate the conclusions of your work are the core of 21st century skills, and a highly valued set of competencies in the world outside of school. These accomplishments are seen in many laptop programs, especially those that permit students to take their computer home in the evening." (Rockman, 2003) A workforce with accomplished information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, and interpersonal and self-directional skills will attract new businesses to Florida and contribute to our state's economic well-being.
Although laptops primarily provide students with opportunities to develop 21st century skills, their use also impacts state achievement tests. This has been demonstrated dramatically in Virginia. After two years of a laptop initiative in Henrico County, high school score results increased on all eleven of the Virginia Standards of Learning tests. In 2000, only 60% of Henrico's regular schools were accredited according to Virginia Standards of Learning criteria. By 2003, 100% of Henrico's regular schools were accredited. This includes 40 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and 9 high schools.
Percent of high school students in Henrico County passing the Virginia Standards of Learning by subject for the school years 2000-2001 (shown in black) compared to 2002-2003 (shown in green).