Gathering empirical evidence supporting the positive results that education technologies can help to deliver.
EmergingEdTech isÂ seeking outÂ online reports and studies that examine the useÂ ofÂ education and instructional technologies, and how effectively theyÂ have been used toÂ improve learning outcomes.
With the growing availablityÂ of high speed bandwidth, the advent of Web 2.0, and other technology improvements, the education technology landscape in recent yearsÂ is markedly different, and more ripe with possibilities, than that ofÂ years prior. With this in mind, we've decidedÂ to draw a line in terms of the the age of the reports,Â excludingÂ anything from prior to 2005 (admittedly a somewhat arbitrary line, but a line nonetheless).
Following are the first few reportsÂ we found that meet this criteria.Â We hope readers find these reports insightful. Moving forward, we'll keep an eye out for additional reports and note them in comments below, then follow up at some future point with an updated summary of the research findings.
“Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths” fromÂ The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University (2010).
This report can currently beÂ found online at: http://www.waldenu.edu/Documents/Degree-Programs/Full_Report_-_Dispelling_Five_Myths.pdf. As the title indicates, the reports examines 5 “myths” about education technology. These mythsÂ include “Given that students today are comfortable with technology, teachersâ€™ use of technology is less important to student learning” and “Only high-achieving student benefit from using technology.”
Among the conclusions reached in this study was the following, specific to Myth 3 (the first one noted above): “Teachersâ€™ use of technology matters a great deal. Teachers who use technology frequently to support learning in their classrooms report greater beneï¬ts to student learning, engagement and skills from technology than teachers who spend less time using technology to support learning.Â Teachers who are frequentÂ technology users also put more emphasis on 21st century skills – and report more pronounced effects on student learning of these skills.”
“Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning (A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies)” from the U.S. Department of Education (2009).
This report is currently available here: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf. The report is a meta-analysis, combining the results of multiple previous studies. The analysis examined manyÂ studies (most from 2004 and beyond), and ultimately incorporated results fromÂ 46 of them.
The study's conclusion was that, based on the research that it examined, blended learning (combining face-to-face and online learning) was more effective than conventional face-to-face learning. Additionally, online learning alone was also shown to offer a slight advantage over conventional classroom learning. It is important to note that much of the research examined in the report focused on adult learners.
“Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings from the First Student Cohort”, a report to congress from the Institute of Education Sciences (2007).
This paper can be found online at: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pdf/20074005.pdf. This study was actually conducted in 2004 and 2005 and looked at 16 selected software products (out of 160 submissions). For Reading, Grades 1 and 4 were sampled, and for the Mathematics, Grade 6 and Algebra. The fundamental finding of this study was that “Test Scores Were Not Significantly Higher in Classrooms Using Selected Reading and Mathematics Software Products.”
“Discussion Paper: Impact of Technology on Education” by Debbie Look for PUSD Excellence Committee (2005).
This paper can be found online at http://www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/Superintendent/Downloads/Technology.pdf. The paper looks at a good number of previous studies (a few of which meet my criteria, and I will have to look into further). The paper concludes that, “Despite some limitations in the scope of the research-based evidence, there does seem to be a sufficient body of data, both quantitative and qualitative, to determine a positive relationship between increased use of educational technologies and student achievement.”
“Quantity versus Quality: A New Approach to Examine the Relationship between Technology Use and Student Outcomes” from the British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 41 Issue 3 (May 2009).
I found an abstractÂ of this report here, and will have to follow up and try to secure a full copy of the report. In this report, “the author argues that to examine the relationship between technology use and student outcomes, the quality of technology useâ€”how, and what, technology is usedâ€”is a more significant factor than the quantity of technology use.” The abstract goes on to state that, “when the quality of technology was examined by investigating the specific types of technology uses, a significant association was identified between technology use and all student outcomes.”
It was certainly encouraging to see that 4 of these 5 studies indicated a positive correlation between education technology and improved student achievement and learning outcomes. Finding reports that met this simple criteria (published after 2004 and measuring the impact of education technology on learning) proved harder thanÂ anticipated. ThereÂ were plenty of reports that were either close to the topic, but not on target, or were older thanÂ desired. If any of you know of anyÂ studies you think we should consider adding to the list, please comment belowÂ and let us know about them (thanks!).
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
8 Engaging Videos Advocating Better Integration of Technology in Education
5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies
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