Does Technology improve Learning?

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Image from www.mscadysclass.com

In Theory:

Yes, if technology is used by a skillful teacher.

Technology can enhance current practices/classroom strategies.

Technology can enable new practices/classroom strategies.

We do not want a one-technique teacher.

The use of technology supports the teacher in developing a repertoire of practices to meet the different learning needs of their students.

In the hands of a good teacher, technology value-adds in creating

  1. Efficiency: saves printing, seamless
  2. Engagement: As digital natives, students take to technology like fish to water
  3. Increased Participation: Students’ views are represented
  4. Deepening of Learning: Make thinking visible
  5. Cooperative & Collaborative Learning: students work with each other
  6. Self-directed Learning: Students have the tools to pursue their own learning goals
  7. Personalised Learning: Any place, Any time, at Any Pace

In Practice:

No, there has not been a causal link established between the use of technology and students’ outcomes.

Reasons:

  • Large scale system-wide research are few. Eg. NESTA –Decoding Learning
  • Confluence of Factors for Students’ Outcomes: non-attributable to ICT, beware the One Cause Fallacy, Co-relation is not Causality.
  • Disparity in Teachers’ Quality in the system

But

when practice is grounded in theory, there is hope.

We see benefits of technology reported from various small-scale classroom intervention projects.

Internationally, there are numerous research on technology-mediated classroom interventions, such as those highlighted in the Horizon Report and the Innovating Pedagogy Report, reporting  learning gains from the use of technology.

Locally, small-scale innovation projects have yielded a range of data pointing to the value of the specific technology intervention in the classroom.

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