My epiphany came during a two day meeting with teachers associated with EUSchoolNET's iTEC project. There we discussed iTEC and the impacts that associated technology supported learning activities were having in classrooms and more importantly on learners and their learning. My "light-bulb moment" came as we discussed the benefits that arise when people can play a greater role in organising and managing their own learning.
The opportunity to organise your own learning in a better way - to gather data and derive information regarding your study seems to me to play strongly into the hands of engaging learners' interest, and strengthen their ownership of learning. And all of that plays to the value of providing the tools that can enable learners to own and manage their own information. If it is accepted that this ownership and management of learning is important, then it also says something about implementation strategies for 1:1 projects.
Self-management only works if access to information is provided, the tools for its interrogation and manipulation are offered and support is given to individual learners as they plan their next steps. 1:1 can then become, as it is for many people in their work, a route to greater greater ownership of learning, and a scaffolding to development of responsibility.
So I've come to believe that 1:1 can have a significant positive impact, particularly if it encourages us to work with students to organise learning a bit differently.