7 Key Findings for Successful Education Technology Integrations

by Kelly Walsh on November 28, 2012

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Project Red Produced These Informative Findings and is Working to Transform Them ‘From Research to Results’.

Continuing with the theme of measurable successes in education technology implementations that we’ve explored in a number of articles over the last few months, today we take a look at Project Red. Project RED conducted a national study of education technology focused on student achievement and financial implications. The coalition of three research organizations surveyed and studied nearly 1,000 schools and uncovered a replicable design for successfully introducing technology into the classroom, improving student performance, and yielding cost benefits.

This exciting research endeavor developed 11 “success measures” and 22 independent measures and incorporated these into a survey tool that was central to the project’s effort to identify and prioritize the factors that make some U.S. K-12 technology implementations perform dramatically better than others. Project Red’s research produced 7 key findings, summarized briefly below (check out the  complete findings for further details).

1. Nine key implementation factors [that] are linked most strongly to education success.

  • Intervention classes: Technology is integrated into every intervention class period.
  • Change management leadership by principal: Leaders provide time for teacher professional learning and collaboration at least monthly.
  • Online collaboration: Students use technology daily for online collaboration (games/simulations and social media).
  • Core subjects: Technology is integrated into core curriculum weekly or more frequently.
  • Online formative assessments: Assessments are done at least weekly.
  • Student-computer ratio: Lower ratios improve outcomes.
  • Virtual field trips: With more frequent use, virtual trips are more powerful. The best schools do these at least monthly.
  • Search engines: Students use daily.
  • Principal training: Principals are trained in teacher buy-in, best practices, and technology-transformed learning

2. Properly implemented technology saves money.

Respondents reported that technology contributes to cost reductions and productivity improvements … “the richer the technology implementation, the more positive the impact.”

3. 1:1 schools employing key implementation factors outperform all schools and all other 1:1 schools.

Results demonstrated that when all students have continuous access to a computing device, increased academic achievement and financial benefits are realized, and more so when technology is implemented properly.

Project Red Successful Ed Tech Integration Findings Graphic

 

4. The principal’s ability to lead change is critical. Change must be modeled and championed at the principal level.

Analysis showed that the principal is one of the most important variables in a school, across all 11 of the education success measures, which suggests that “change leadership training for principals involved in large-scale technology implementations” is vital.

5. Technology-transformed intervention improves learning.

“Project RED found that technology-transformed interventions in ELL, Title I, special education, and reading intervention are the top-model predictor of improved high-stakes test scores, dropout rate reduction, course completion, and improved discipline. No other independent variable is the top-model predictor for more than one education success measure.”

6. Online collaboration increases learning productivity and student engagement.

Collaboration among students has long been viewed as an important factor in improving student achievement, and the study’s finding bore this out.

Project Red Successful Ed Tech Integration Findings Graphic2

 

7. Daily use of technology delivers the best return on investment (ROI).

“Daily technology use is a top-five indicator of better discipline, better attendance, and increased college attendance.”

 

Following through on this research and working to bring about change inspired by their findings, Project RED has launched the Project RED Community and is encouraging schools to join (and to share their success stories if they wish). They are currently traveling the country delivering “Project Red Institutes” where educators can learn how to leverage these findings in their schools. Lastly, they are delivering free Webinars and have archived many that have already been delivered, so if you’re interested in learning more about their findings and recommendations, you can do so right from your desk!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Measurable Success in Technology Integration – Mooresville Graded School District
Study Finds Benefits in Use of iPad as an Educational Tool
Measurable Education Technology Success – Atomic Learning Technology Integration Training

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Class Workshop in a Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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