How Effective is Technology in the Schools?
Wrestling the Military-Academic Complex
The reach of the military-academic complex goes far beyond schools like West Point and Annapolis; today almost 350 civilian universities conduct Pentagon-funded research.
USE OF COMPUTERS: U.S. RESEARCHERS FIND MIXED RESULTS http://www.bc.edu/research/intasc/
A joint study by researchers at Boston College and the University of Massachusetts found the more students used computers to write school papers, the higher they scored on the state's English/Language Arts exam.
The study also found the more students used computers to prepare PowerPoint presentations, surf the Web or play games, chat with friends or create PowerPoint presentations, the worse they did on the non-computerized exam. Researchers said the study provides evidence that investments in computers can have positive effects on student achievement, and that teachers and students must be thoughtful about how computers are used and what types of learning they expect to impact the non-computerized exam.
Rates of Computer and Internet Use by Children in Nursery School and Students in Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade: 2003
Description: This Issue Brief describes the percentage of students in grades 12 or below who used computers or the Internet in 2003. The Brief highlights the fact that computer and Internet use is commonplace and begins early. Even before kindergarten, a majority of children in nursery school use computers and, and 23 percent use the Internet.
Collaboration, Sharing and Society Teaching, Learning and Technical Considerations From An Analysis of WebCT, BSCW, and BlackBoard May, 2000 by Paul Pavlik
The Evaluation Exchange
The Harvard Family Research Project has just released The Fall 2004 issue of its The Evaluation Exchange periodical. The new issue explores the contribution of technology to evaluation practice, with articles centering on four key areas in which evaluators are using technology: data collection and analysis, collaboration, knowledge mobilization, and evaluation capacity building. Rounding out the issue is a special feature on the role technology plays in fostering youth civic engagement and in evaluating programs for youth.
2003 Total school spending on computer technology, in the '90s alone, was estimated at $70 billion. And the ongoing Federal “e-rate” program continues to pump $2.25 billion each year into Internet networks for poor schools.How to Integrate Technology A Retrospective on Twenty Years of Education Technology Policy
A report from the Center for Children and Technology (CCT) finds a striking consensus in past recommendations for the effective integration of technology in schools and offers advice about recommendations for the next 20 years. "A Retrospective on Twenty Years of Education Technology Policy" synthesizes the findings of more than 25 major studies and policy papers, beginning with "A Nation at Risk" in 1983. In examining past research and policy work on technology's role in education, CCT researchers identified a conceptual framework that offers substantial guidance for striking a balance between the demands of improving practice over time and pressing public concerns such as accountability and equity. According to the report, the\focus of educational technologists and researchers has shifted away from an emphasis on "single input" strategies, such as the wiring of schools, to an appreciation of the multiple dimensions of the educational system that influence the way technology is used. "The lessons learned in this report can help to guide future educational technology policy so that we are building on past successes and continually working to improve teaching and learning," said CCT Director Margaret Honey. Forum Summary
Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
The Role of Online Communications in Schools:
A National Study 1996
This study "demonstrates that students with online access perform better. The study, conducted by CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), an independent research and development organization, and sponsored by the Scholastic Network and Council of the Great City Schools, isolates the impact of online use and measures its effect on student learning in the classroom. The study compared the work of 500 students in fourth-grade and sixth-grade classes in 7 urban school districts (Chicago, Dayton, Detroit, Memphis, Miami, Oakland, and Washington DC) - half with online access and half without."
The STS curricular framework and worksheets offered strategies to help students identify key elements of their topic, to organize the information they found into categories, and to structure their ideas into a compelling presentation for their project. Many teachers reported in their phone interview that the curriculum framework, lesson plans, activities, and worksheets for the Civil Rights Unit were useful. In addition, teachers in the experimental group relayed the importance of online communications in supporting their teaching efforts. They spoke about the help they received from peers and experts online, the community-building interactions they had with other teachers and community mentors, and the benefits of the wide range of resources available on Scholastic Network and the Internet. As a result, teachers themselves became engaged in learning.
THE ROLE OF ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS IN SCHOOLS: A NATIONAL STUDY
Conducted by: CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
Rginald Grgoire inc.
August 1st, 1996 For additional information, contact: Sari Follansbee, Ed.D., Director of Curriculum
THE CONTRIBUTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO LEARNING AND TEACHING IN ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS
DOCUMENTARY REVIEW A collaboration of Laval University and McGill University
Rginald Grgoire inc., Robert Bracewell, Thrse Laferrire, August 1st, 1996
I. THE CONTRIBUTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO LEARNING
The perspective taken by educational researchers and practitioners concerning the role of computer-based learning technologies in the classroom has shifted significantly in the past decade. The perspective of the early 1980's can be characterized as 'the computer as an agent of change' (see Mehan, 1989). That is, the technology was expected to have a major and direct impact on student learning and skill acquisition. This was particularly the case for the subject areas of writing (where word-processing software was immediately available) and of mathematics (where various computer-based Logo software was widely available) (see for example, Daiute, 1983; Rubin and Bruce, 1985).
The at-best mixed results that were obtained for the effects of the technology on learning reduced expectations for the technology (see Hawisher, 1989), and led to a perspective that can be characterized as 'the computer as a tool'. That is, the technology can be an important component of bring about new and better kinds of learning; but as with all tools, effective use of the technology is embedded withinpractices and activities that realize its functionality for specific purposes and situations. The investigation of the relationship between practices, purposes, and situations and computer-based learning technologies has been the general driving force motivating the recent research reviewed below.
The student learning that is examined in light of the new technologies refers to languages, math, the humanities, natural sciences, the arts
The development of various intellectual skills
New technologies have the power to stimulate the development of intellectual skills such as reasoning and problem solving ability, learning how to learn, and creativity.
Specificity of what is learned using the new technologies
The new technologies can contribute in several ways to better learning in various subjects and to the development of various skills and attitudes. The nature and breadth of learning depends on previously acquired knowledge, and on the type of the learning activities using technology.
2. Student Motivation
Interest in a learning activity
Most students show greater spontaneous interest in a learning activity that uses a new technology than in the traditional approaches in class.
The attention span or concentration that the majority of students are willing to devote to learning activities is greater when they use a new technology than when they are in a traditional setting using traditional resources.
3. Relationship of Students to Knowledge
Developing research spirit
The new technologies have the power to stimulate the search for more extensive information on a subject, a more satisfying solution to a problem, and more generally, a greater number of relationships among various pieces of knowledge or data.
Broader cooperation among individuals
The use of new technologies promotes cooperation among students in the same class and among students or classes in different schools, near or far, for the purpose of making them more aware of other realities, accessing relevant knowledge not strictly defined in advance, and executing projects with a genuine relevance for the students themselves, and possibly for other people.
More integrated and better assimilated learning
The potential for simulation, virtual manipulation, rapid merging of a wide variety of data, graphic representation and other functions provided by the new technologies contributes to a linkage of knowledge with various aspects of the person, thereby ensuring more thorough assimilation of the many things learned.
II. THE CONSEQUENCES OF APPROPRIATE USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES ON THE TEACHING FUNCTION OF TEACHERS
Information on new instructional resources andavailability of support for their use
Through the new technologies, teachers quickly obtain information on the availability and value of a very diverse selection of instructional resources, and also often benefit from support for their use.
Teacher cooperation with other people
The new technologies facilitate the teacher's cooperation with colleagues as well as other people inside or outside the school system for planning or development of learning activities intended for students.
The orientation of planning
The teacher's planning for teaching requires great harmony between his or her orientation towards teaching, expected learning outcomes, and the characteristics of the technologies he or she utilizes. Hence, the likelihood of positive results is enhanced when the teacher places great importance on the development and arrangement of activities whose execution requires students to perform real work and cooperate with other students
5. Intervention with a Group of Students
The documentation consulted is virtually unanimous in stating that effective use of new technologies changes the function and work of teachers in the classroom. Many terms are used to describe the nature and scope of this change but almost all convey at least two ideas: part of the transfer of information inherent in teaching is shifted from the teacher to the technological media, and the teacher has moretime to support each student in the individual process of discovery and mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
This change, which is also influenced by other factors, leads to a different concept of teaching and learning, which become more akin to ongoing research and at the same time an eminently personal, shared approach.
These are the two subthemes examined in relation to the teacher's work with a group of students in an educational environment where new technologies play a genuine role.
Different relationships between teachers and students
If the new technologies are used in such a way as to exploit their potential, the teacher interacts with students much more than in a traditional classroom, as a facilitator, a mentor, a guide to thediscovery and gradual mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
A different vision of teaching and learning
In a context where new technologies play an important role, teachers begin to view knowledge less and less as a series of facts to be transferred and more and more as a process of continuous research in which they share the difficulties and results with their students.
6. Assessment of Learning
For a time, the new technologies were often used to support or even consolidate existing diagnoses and assessments of learning. With the arrival of the latest technologies, we are witnessing a different phenomenon: in many cases, it is the technologies themselves that are dictating the new forms of assessment, which are more flexible and much more respectful of what learning is, or are used to implement them. This at least is what emerges from the research that could be done. The following two observations present a brief summary of the findings of this research.
Assessment of learning
The new technologies foster a positive, close association of students with the assessment of their own learning, and uses and manages much more demanding assessment methods than is generally the case at present.
Diagnosing specific difficulties
By permitting rapid retracing of the various learning paths taken by a student, the new technologies facilitate detection by the teacher of this student's strong points as well as the specific difficulties the student encounters or prior incorrect or poorly assimilated learning.
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