Study Gauges Value of Technology in Schools – NYTimes.com

July 1, 2013 at 1:24 am 1 comment

In some sense, this is not a surprising result.  If you purchase (educational) technology without an explicit goal in mind, it’s hard to measure a difference later.  See Larry Cuban on being “Oversold and Underused.”

In a review of student survey data conducted in conjunction with the federal exams known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nonprofit Center for American Progress found that middle school math students more commonly used computers for basic drills and practice than to develop sophisticated skills. The report also found that no state was collecting data to evaluate whether technology investments were actually improving student achievement.

“Schools frequently acquire digital devices without discrete learning goals and ultimately use these devices in ways that fail to adequately serve students, schools, or taxpayers,” wrote Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the author of the report.

via Study Gauges Value of Technology in Schools – NYTimes.com.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brian  |  July 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Agree with you this isn’t surprising and reflects the observations and experiences I’ve seen in (mostly) K12 schools and Districts. The Shoot, Ready, Aim nature of technology acquisition, the impacts of funding and revenue availability cycles and often political nature for technology implementations (with less than optimal staff development opportunities to ensure cohesive and appropriate pedagogical practice regimes) often means the desired goals of the technology or initiative are never achieved. The recent rush to tablet 1:1’s seems to mirror the rush to Intelligent Whiteboards which mirrored the rush to computer labs prior to that. There are examples (as noted in the article and studies) of valuable, demonstrable outcomes and many of these are faculty instigated (as opposed to Board or Institutionally initiated) though both models can work. The key indicators are defining and understanding the specific outcomes of the initiative, ensuring ample staff dev or augmentation to ensure wide adoption of the learning environment that the initiative enables and gaining and reinforcing best practices support for the faculty. The ways and means of achieving those goals can be granular (i.e. -implement flipped classrooms for student engagement, individualized learning and facilitator/mentor faculty roles or enable formative assessments dynamically) or more holistic but if the goal is every K3 student and faculty member will have a tablet to enable browsing/research and access to content from the device then the returns on those investments from a learning outcomes standpoint are going to be limited and ad-hoc.

    Reply

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