Does technology positively impact student learning?

Does technology positively impact student learning? Although David Warlick has noted that the question may not really matter that much, educators, citizens, and policymakers still are interested in this issue as they seek to justify current and expanded technology funding in schools.

The Metiri Group has just issued a report commissioned by Cisco Systems that finds that technology can have significant impacts on student learning outcomes when implemented with fidelity. The report, Technology in Schools: What the Research Says, notes that school organizations must pay “serious attention . . . to leadership development, professional development for teachers, school culture, curricular redesign, and teacher preparation” in order to see the learning benefits of their technology investments. The results are no big surprise for technology advocates, but it is nice to see additional research support for our claims.

Guess what? All of these issues (except teacher preparation) are under the control of school leaders. Now, what are we going to do to help administrators ramp up their technology leadership skills?

You can download the full report or read eSchoolNews’ article.

2 Responses to “Does technology positively impact student learning?”

  1. Scott,

    Thanks for this post and for pointing us to this important report from our friends at the Metiri Group. I would like to clarify, for those who may not take the time to read my referenced blog entry, that it’s not that the question, “Does technology positively impact student learning?”, is not an important question. It’s that measured, standards-based performance is not the only reason for us to be investing in modernizing our classrooms. The fact that digital networked information and communication technologys are the pencil and paper of our time — and children should be learning within the context of their time and their future. Anything else is just preparing them for the 1950s.

    Thanks again!

  2. David, I actually am not sure the question matters at all. I think you’re dead on when you say that we should be teaching and using the dominant communication paradigm of our time. In that sense, it doesn’t matter. No one asked “Does the use of papyrus / paper / chiseled tablets” increase student learning?

    As always, I’m concerned that our leaders are stuck in old ways of thinking.

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