Ed Tech and Student Achievement, Part 2

July 25, 2007 · Posted in Studies 

Two studies reported recently in eSchool News highlight two important aspects of educational technology and student achievement:

  1. Educational technology has the capability of raising student achievement based on performance on standardized testing, and
  2. The effectiveness of educational reform is based on good technology implemented by capable teachers and backed up by administrative vision and ongoing support.

eSchool News Volume 10, No. 7 cites the preliminary results from a federally-funded study looking at technology’s impact on teaching and learning. Nine states have been participating in a cooperative program to enhance teaching and learning through technology. These programs have been implemented in a variety of ways. For example:

  • Professional development through peer networking and videoconferencing (Iowa);
  • One to one laptop programs (Texas);
  • Students using technology to solve real-world problems (Arkansas).

Preliminary results from four of the participating states show gains in math and reading achievement, school attendance, interaction with peers, high school graduation rates, engagement in lessons, and the number of students going on to college after high school. Similarly, decreases in discipline problems were noted in some states. (Not all states looked at the same results from their data.) Study results to this point are posted on the State Educational Technology Directors Association’s (SETDA) web site, with more to come as studies are finalized.

In another article entitled Educators Reveal Secrets of Reform, eSchool News looks at reasons that some ubiquitous technology programs are more successful than others. Perhaps to no-one’s surprise, a joint conference sponsored by SETDA and the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) highlighted these factors common to successful programs:

  1. Leadership provides vision and support;
  2. On-going professional development changes teaching and learning;
  3. Data drive decisions;
  4. High-quality resources and tools support engaged learning and high-quality teaching, and
  5. Communication across the district–with parents and all stakeholders–is key.

Mary Ann Wolf, SETDA Executive Director, summed up the conferences findings: “As you look across these examples, you begin to see that this good teaching, this individualized approach using the resources that meet the needs of each student, the possibility of student-centered instruction–all lead to an increase in the skills needed for our students to graduate and be college- and work-ready.”

The eSchool article has links to school-based ed tech programs that have proven successful and which were represented at the conference. Good reading…

Powered by ScribeFire.


Leave a Reply