The Holy Grail in education today is to link an educational strategy, program, initiative or technology to student achievement. There are numerous organizations advocating for Technology Literacy, Information Literacy, 21st Century Learning Skills, and any number of other titles for literacy in a modern context. In all sectors of human society, the technology of the 21st Century has revolutionized and enhanced our way of life. From medicine to the military and from business to the arts, the technologies of today have made our lives better. It is not surprising then, that the public expects technology to have a similar revolutionary effect on education. After all, the biggest advancements of the last 20 years have been in the realm of information and the tools of human knowledge; this is Education’s back-yard. Yet, when people look at our schools they see many classrooms that seem to have been immune to these advances. There are obstacles that education faces in implementing a 21st Century approach to education not the least of which is finding a definition and a clear picture of what it really looks like and whether it will be more effective for students. Costs to implement technology-rich programs quickly seem prohibitive when scaling to an entire school system, particularly so in a state that lags the nation in educational funding. Teachers are our biggest asset and are known to be the single largest influence on student achievement the district can provide, so professional development is crucial and fundamental. The measure of success, the CSAP, is a paper and pencil test which will be unable to measure all the positive effects technology can have for student learning. Indeed, a 20th Century test method will be unable to properly assess (and may even inhibit) the skills development of a 21st Century learner. And then, are we just about the content and helping students master it, or is education about something more as well? Therefore, making the case that investment in technology will increase student achievement can be fraught with pitfalls and obstacles. To attempt to tackle this issue, the authors of this paper will review quality research and commentary in an array of areas where technology-related tools and strategies have been implemented with positive effects for students. A strict filter of studies that produce higher test results will not be used because of the limitations current paper and pencil tests have in assessment of 21st Century skills. In addition to improved assessment performances, the reader is encouraged to consider the context of a global workplace and education’s duty to prepare students to thrive in a highly digital, interactive knowledge workforce. Research that shows increased student achievement on assessments, studies that point to ways education can successfully prepare students for a modern workforce and our own experiences in Littleton Public Schools shall all be considered positive correlations between technology and student achievement in this paper.
The Challenge Inherent in Determining the Effectiveness of Technologies via Research The following is an excerpt that addresses a gestalt view of technology and its correlation to student achievement: When we try to determine the effectiveness of educational technologies, we are confronted by a number of methodological and practical issues. First, we need to remember that technology is only one component of an instructional activity. Assessments of the impact of technology are really assessments of instruction enabled by technology, and the outcomes are highly dependent on the quality of the implementation of the instructional design. According to Roy Pea, director of SRI Center for Technology in Learning in Menlo Park, California, the "social contexts" of how technology is used are crucial to understanding how technology might influence teaching and learning. Educational technologies cannot be...
References: Archer, J. (1998). The link to higher scores. Education Week, 18(5), 10-19.
Balajthy, E., McKeveny, R., & Lacitignola, L. (1986). Microcomputers and the improvement of revision skills. The Computing Teacher, 14(4), 28-31.
Bangert-Drowns, R. L. (1993). The word processor as an instructional tool: a meta-analysis of word processing in writing instruction. v63(n1), p69(24).
Bangert-Drowns, R. L., Hurley, M. M., & Wilkinson, B. (2004). The effects of school-based writing-to-learn Interventions on academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 29-58.
Beck, N., & Fetherston, T. (2003). The effects of incorporating a word processor into a year three writing program. Information Technology in Childhood Education, 139-162.
Blaisdell, M. (2007). All the right MUVEs. Technology Horizons in Education Journal, 33(14), 29-38.
Bottege, B., Daley, P., Goin, L., Hasselbring, T., & Taylor, R. (1997). The computer doesn 't embarrass me. Educational Leadership, 55, 30-33.
Calao, J., & Din, F. S. (2001). The effects of playing educational video games on kindergarten achievement. Child Study Journal, 31(2), 95.
Cavanagh, S. (2007). On Writing Tests, Computers Slowly Making Mark. Education Week, 23(6), 1.
Coley, R. (1997). Technology 's impact: A new study shows the effectiveness -- and the limitations -- of school technology [Electronic Version]. Electronic School. Retrieved 2-25-07 from http://www.electronic-school.com/0997f3.html.
Davis, R., Ginns, I., & McRobbie, C. (2002). Elementary schools students’ understandings of technology concepts. Journal of Technology Education, 14(1).
Dyer, R. R., Reed, P. A., & Berry, R. Q. (2006). Investigating the relationship between high school technology education and test scores for algebra 1 and geometry. Journal of Technology Education, 17(2), 10.
Hines, L. (2005). Interactive learning environment keeps Modesto students engaged. Technology Horizons in Education Journal, 33(2), 40.
Lane, D. M. M. (2003). Early evidence from the field: The Maine Learning Technology Initiative impact on student learning; occasional paper #1: Center for Education Policy, Applied Research and Evaluation, University of Southern Maine.
Lewis, T. (1999). Research in technology education- some areas of need. Journal of Technology Education, 10(2), 41-56.
Little, E. B. (2006). Technology integration as an intervention strategy for at-risk eighth graders Meridian: A middle school computer technologies journal, a service of NC State University, 9(2), 2.
MacArthur, C. A. (1988). Computers and writing instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 20(2), 37-39.
McCarthy, A. C., & Moss, G. D. (1994). A comparison of male and female pupil perceptions of technology in the curriculum. Research in Science and Technological Education, 12(1), 5-13.
Owston, R. D., & Wideman, H. H. (1997). Word processors and children 's writing in a high-computer access setting Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 30(2), 202-221.
Pink, D. H. (2005). A whole new mind : moving from the information age to the conceptual age. New York: Riverhead Books.
Pitler, H., Flynn, K., & Gaddy, B. (2004). Is a laptop initiative in your future? Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age [Electronic Version]. elearnspace. Retrieved 2-25-07 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.
Silverman, S., & Pritchard, A. M. (1996). Building their future: Girls and technology education in Connecticut. Journal of Technology Education, 7(2), 41-54.
Van Allen, L. (1991). The effect of writing across the curriculum programs on student writing improvement: A study of selected middle schools in Texas University of Texas at Austin, Austin.
Virvou, M., Katsionis, G., & Manos, K. (2005). Combining software games with education: Evaluation of its educational effectiveness. Educational Technology & Society, 8(2), 54-65.
Whitehurst, G. J. (2003). Evidence-Based Education [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 2-25-07 from http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SASA/eb/.
Yerrick, R. (2006). Globalizing education one podcast at a time [Electronic Version]. Technology Horizons in Education Journal. Retrieved 2-25-07 from http://www.thejournal.com/the/newsletters/smartclassroom/archives/?aid=19444.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document