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Ann Thompson and Denise Schmidt Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching College of Human Sciences - Iowa State University. Effects of Technology on Learning and Teaching: What the research tells us. Thanks for asking!.

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Ann Thompson and Denise Schmidt

Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching

College of Human Sciences - Iowa State University

Effects of Technology on Learning and Teaching:What the research tells us

thanks for asking
Thanks for asking!
  • We’ve learned a lot since computers were first introduced into schools in the 1980’s
  • Focus is changing from the technology to the “dynamic equilibrium” between technology, teaching methods, and content
  • Review findings, cite exemplary cases
  • Answer Questions!
the context
The Context
  • Three factors pointing to the right time for action:
    • Students out of school lives are richer in information and communication technology than their in-school lives
    • Schools are still operating under an industrial model
    • New and powerful technology tools are available to support changing roles for schools

(Chris Dede, EduSummit the Hague, 2009)

presenting the research results
Presenting the Research Results
  • Large Scale Meta-analyses
  • Impact on Subject Area Learning
    • Reading/writing, math, science, social studies, foreign language
  • State Initiatives
    • Michigan
    • Missouri
large scale meta analyses
Large Scale Meta-analyses
  • Murphy (2001) and Kulik (1994) both found significant positive results on the effects of technology use on student achievement in reading and math
    • Each reviewed hundreds of studies
    • Overall effects were positive
    • Research has moved to more specific questions
writing results

O'Dwyer, Russell, Bebell, and Tucker-Seeley (2005) found that, while controlling for both prior achievement and socioeconomic status, 4th grade students who reported greater frequency of technology use at school to write and edit papers:

higher total English/language arts test scores

higher writing test scores

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) English/Language Arts Test

Writing Results
math results
Math Results

Wenglinsky (1998) noted that for 4th and 8th grade students, technology had "positive benefits" on achievement as measured in NAEP's mathematics test.

Key Finding: Using computers to teach low-order thinking skills, such as drill and practice, had a negative impact on academic achievement, while using computers to solve simulations resulted in significant increases in students' math scores.

science results
Science Results

Dunleavy and Heinecke (2007) found 1:1 computing has a positive effect on science achievement among at-risk middle school students.

Schroeder et al. (2007) showed technology had significant, positive effects on science test scores.

social studies foreign language
Social Studies, Foreign Language

Taylor and Duran (2006), analyzing Detroit’s MITTEN Program11, found significant, positive effects on social studies learning by increasing student interest in the subject material.

Murphy (2007) conducted randomized control trials to test for the effect of the use of instructional technology in foreign language comprehension and found significant, positive effects.

state initiatives michigan

Freedom to Learn (FTL), provides middle school students and teachers with access to wireless laptop computers.

improved grades, motivation and discipline in classrooms

one exemplary school seeing reading proficiency scores on the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) increase, from 29 percent to 41 percent for seventh graders and from 31 to 63 percent for eighth graders (eSchool News, 2005).

State Initiatives - Michigan
state initiatives missouri

eMINTS – focuses on innovative instructional processes in grades 3-12 (develop student-centered, inquiry-based instructional practices), Quasi-experimental studies found:

eMINTS classrooms have outperformed peers in state standardized performance measures (in communication arts and mathematics)

Students with IEPs and students with limited English proficiency outscored their peers by one standard deviation in each of the four content areas

Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Australia

State Initiatives - Missouri

Research indicates that computer technology can help support learning and is especially useful in developing the higher-order skills of critical thinking, analysis, and scientific inquiry "by engaging students in authentic, complex tasks within collaborative learning contexts"

(Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin & Means, 2000;

Means, et. al., 1993)

learning with technology
Learning with Technology
  • Four fundamental characteristics of how technology can enhance both what and how children learn in the classroom (Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin, & Means (2000):
    • Active engagement
    • Participation in groups
    • Frequent interaction and feedback
    • Connections to real-world contexts
  • Using technology is more effective as a learning tool when embedded in a broader education reform movement that includes improvements in teacher training, curriculum, student assessment, and a school's capacity for change.

Technocentric Planning vs. TPACK

exemplary cases
Exemplary Cases
  • Westside Community Schools – Omaha, NE
    • Over 6,000 K-12 students
      • 1:1 - 8th-12th grades
      • 2:1 – K-6th grades
  • Keys to Success
    • Teachers changed pedagogy
    • Modular scheduling
    • Experimentation and sharing
    • Academic success for students
  • One Teacher’s Story
recommendations from iste research report
Recommendationsfrom ISTE Research Report

Effective professional development for teachers in the integration of technology into instruction is necessary to support student learning.

Teachers’ direct application of technology must be aligned to curriculum standards. (Common Core/Iowa Core)

Technology must be incorporated into the daily learning schedule. (technocentric vs. TPACK)

Student collaboration in the use of technology is more effective in influencing student achievement than strictly individual use.

Project-based learning and real-world simulations are more effective in changing student motivation and achievement than drill-and-practice applications.

Effective technology integration requires leadership, support, and modeling from teachers, administrators and the community/parents.

in summary four key areas
In Summary: Four Key Areas

Chris Dede

Professor in Learning Technologies

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Increased learner motivation

Advanced topics mastered

Students acting as experts

Better outcomes on standardized tests


Ann Thompson –

Denise Schmidt –

Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching

College of Human Sciences

Iowa State University

Images from Microsoft Clipart and Creative Commons


Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement (NCREL Report) –

Technology and Student Achievement: The Indelible Link (ISTE 2008 Policy Report) –

Technical Report on Student Learning (CARET) -

Six Challenges for Educational Technology (Dede) -

Freedom to Learn (Michigan) -

eMINTS (Missouri) -