We are in the midst of one of the greatest paradigm shifts in history, a technological revolution that is changing how we learn, work and communicate. Just over 10 years ago, about 42% of United States households had Internet access; today, that number has almost doubled, making the Internet a common denominator to unite nearly all homes in the country. As educators, it would be foolish to ignore this explosion of technology, which offers any classroom the chance to become a more collaborative, engaging and effective environment for the students and their instructors.
In a recent meta-analysis study, The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement, authors analyzed more than 500 individual research articles, and noted some significant findings:
- On achievement tests, students tested at a higher percentile when using computer-based instruction, as opposed to students receiving traditional instruction in their classrooms.
- Students learned material in less time when using computer-based instruction.
- Students had an overall higher positive attitude towards learning when using computer-based instruction.
- Students in technology-rich environments had higher achievement levels, from preschool to higher education.
Education for the Future
When presented with the number of benefits to integrating technology into classrooms, the question is not whether to introduce more technology, but where to do it and how. Some of the most popular technologies used in today’s classrooms include:
- Online learning and blended classrooms – is there a YouTube video that can explain neural activity better than a drawing on the overhead?
- Game-based learning – it is hard to match the euphoria of winning at something, but why not try?
- Web-based projects – students no longer need to slave for hours in order to find scholarly articles for research papers.
- Collaborative online tools – groupwork is dynamic and engaging with video chats and collaboration documents over the Web.
Schacter, J. The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement. Milken Exchange on Education Technology.