Investing in Technology: The Payoff in Student Learning. This is an ERIC Digest from 2003. It was written by Harvey Barnett.
I found it interesting. My library has several hundred computers available for patron use. In addition, we have 50 computers in our two classrooms. On top of this, we have a large number of staff computers. Every three years, we need to upgrade the computers. We have this on a rotating cycle so that they do not all need replaced at once but it is still expensive.
Looking at this article, we are primarily using the computers as tools. However, they are also used as tutors when students look up information and teach themselves. Clearly, the computers are worth it. I just wish they did not take so much out of the library budget every year.
From the site:
Imagine this moment in your life as a school administrator. A skeptical school board member, prospective parent, or local public official visits your school and, after a tour in which you point out the wonderful new computers, scanners, digital cameras, and other technology which you've acquired over the past few years, says to you, "You've clearly made a tremendous investment in technology. How do you know this investment will pay off in terms of student learning?"
This ERIC Digest reviews some significant research on technology use in the classroom that attempts to answer this question and indicates the conditions under which technology is most likely to have a positive impact on student learning.