Study shows significant improvements in student achievement when teachers utilize Atomic Learning for technology integration training.
In this article we continue a series of posts that examine applications of education technology that have produced measurable, positive results. This week we learn about a study conducted around teacher use of the Atomic Learning professional development solution and it’s impact on student learning.
Founded in 2000 by a group of technology educators, Atomic Learning was created by educators, for educators. Atomic Learning offers educational institutions cost-effective solutions for on-demand technology training and support. The 2011 Horizon Report on the outlook for education technology identified digital literacy among teachers as the number one challenge faced by education, and Atomic Learning provides a professional development platform that can help to address that challenge.
In 2010-2011, Assessment and Research Services firm SEG Measurement conducted a study evaluating the impact of the Atomic Learning professional development solution on student achievement. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of Atomic Learning’s technology integration training on student learning. The results show that students in classes whose teachers use Atomic Learning learn significantly more than students in classes whose teachers do not use Atomic Learning.
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The fundamental question explored in this study is, “Do students in grades 6, 7, and 8 show larger gains in Reading Comprehension and Mathematics skills if their teachers use Atomic Learning for professional development?” Two groups of teachers and students of matching abilities were compared. The Treatment Group was comprised of students in classes taught by teachers who used the Atomic Learning professional development solution and the Control Group consisted of students in classes whose teachers did not.
Approximately 1,000 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and teachers in 42 classrooms in Minnesota, Missouri and Texas participated. The Stanford 10 Achievement Test was given at the beginning of the year, and a post-test was administered at the end of the year, and Reading Comprehension and Mathematics scores were compared statistically, as a means of evaluating the impact of teacher use of Atomic Learning on their Reading Comprehension and Mathematics growth. Students received 22 to 28 weeks of instruction between the pre-test and post-test.
Teachers of students in the Treatment Group used Atomic Learning roughly one to two hours per week (while teachers of students in the control group did not use it all). Teachers using Atomic Learning reported a substantial increase in their use of technology in the classroom, and several integrated mobile devices such as iPads and iPods. One school shifted from offering specific classes in technology use to a broader integration of technology across all classes and students were required to present projects using multiple modes and were encouraged not to repeat use of the same technological medium for different project presentations.
Students in classes where teachers used Atomic Learning increased their SAT 10 Mathematics scale-scores by 21 points and their Reading Comprehension scale-scores by 19 points. Students in this group, on average, achieved about two years of growth during the year, based on the average gains seen by students at the 50th percentile at grades 6, 7 and 8 provided by Harcourt (2002). This rate of academic growth was statistically significant in comparison to those students in the control group, whose teachers did not use Atomic Learning.
The Treatment Group students showed substantially greater gains in Reading Comprehension (11 scale score points; Effect Size= .24) and Mathematics (7 scale score points; Effect Size=.14) than the Control Group classes. On average, students in the Treatment Group showed about a year’s more growth than their peers in classes where Atomic Learning was not used. The study also examined and found that Atomic Learning is equally effective for students of different ethnic backgrounds and for boys and girls.
(Complete study details and results of this robust study are available in the study report, available here.)
This study provides yet another example of how instructional technologies and technology integration in education truly can make a measurable difference in student engagement and student learning. Come back again next week to check another example of measurable education technology success!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Education Technology Success Story – Carpe Diem Collegiate High School
Western Governors University – Measurable Academic Innovation Success, Enabled by Technology
10 Emerging Education and Instructional Technologies that all Educators Should Know About (2012)