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Plugged into learning: Computers help students advance

Date:
January 17, 2012
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
Technology has grown by leaps and bounds, yet are computers helping students progress in their learning? Absolutely, says a 40-year retrospective on the impact of technology in classrooms.

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds, yet are computers helping students progress in their learning? Absolutely, says a 40-year retrospective on the impact of technology in classrooms.

Published in the journal Review of Educational Research, the findings gathered by Concordia University researchers suggest that technology delivers content and supports student achievement.

Expanded from a doctoral thesis by Rana Tamim, the study's first author, the research brought together data from 60,000 elementary school, high school, and post-secondary students. It compared achievement in classrooms that used computer technology versus those that used little or none.

In those classrooms where computers were used to support teaching, the technology was found to have a small to moderate positive impact on both learning and attitude. "We deduce that the impact would be even greater if observed over a student's entire educational experience," says co-author Richard Schmid, chair of Concordia's Department of Education and a member of the university's Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance.

The research team found technology works best when students are encouraged to think critically and communicate effectively. "A standard PowerPoint presentation will most likely not enhance the learning experience beyond providing content or enhancing teacher-directed lectures or class discussions," says Schmid.

The team now plans to evaluate what technologies work best for what subjects. "Educational technology is not a homogenous intervention, but provides a broad variety of tools and strategies for learning," says Schmid, adding there are few resources available to keep teachers abreast of newer technologies and their potential.

"Teachers across Quebec are not particularly familiar with the use of technology to promote learning," he stresses. "The problem is compounded by the fact that children are increasingly more adept with computers. One of the mandates of Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance at Concordia is to support teachers and provide the tools to facilitate the integration of technology into their classrooms."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. M. Tamim, R. M. Bernard, E. Borokhovski, P. C. Abrami, R. F. Schmid. What Forty Years of Research Says About the Impact of Technology on Learning: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis and Validation Study. Review of Educational Research, 2011; 81 (1): 4 DOI: 10.3102/0034654310393361

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Plugged into learning: Computers help students advance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145447.htm>.
Concordia University. (2012, January 17). Plugged into learning: Computers help students advance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145447.htm
Concordia University. "Plugged into learning: Computers help students advance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145447.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

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