One of the benefits of a 1:1 deployment is the fostering of a paperless environment. Paper, printers, printing, copy machines, and copies all cost a lot of money; maintaing printers and copy machines is a huge drain on resources.
Yes, 1:1 devices are expensive, but the price of laptops is decreasing. Many devices can almost be considered consumable–like certain textbooks. This is a big technological change.
What must also change is one’s outlook concerning a paperless environment. With Learning Management Systems, Google Apps for Education, and hardware in the classroom, there’s very little reason to print. This means workflow for educators is changing. Instead of stacks of turned-in homework sitting on a desk, teachers can now toggle between web browser tabs to retrieve turned-in assignments, grade assignments, and give students feedback. (I also recommend two monitors. The amount of saved time is worth the investment.) And instead of displaying student work on classroom walls, assignments can now be viewed on a class website or via other online forums–again, fewer reasons to print.
Having a paperless philosophy changes the way a classroom functions in many expected and unexpected ways.