I’ve been in classrooms where I’ve seen teachers using technology effectively — frequently, I’ve seen teachers using smart whiteboards effectively. I’ve seen bits of software that seem really engaging. But again, it’s all piecemeal at this point. . . . If it doesn’t work in all contexts for all kids, I want to be able to describe which context it works in for which kids, and we’re not there yet for anything"
(Source: Daniel Willingham, a University of Virginia cognitive scientist as cited in Marketplace as quoted in Learning About Tech: No Dancing Hamsters Please)Joanne, who authored the blog above highlights some powerful points. None is so powerful as this:
The question in both of these reports is not whether technology can improve learning outcomes; lots of well-designed experimental research establishes that it can. The question, rather, is whether it is improving learning outcomes.
And the answer seems to be: Not really.Ouch. Of course, the experimental research cited is about this stuff:
In particular, when compared to No tutoring, the effect sizes of answer-based tutoring systems, intelligent tutoring systems, and adult human tutors are believed to be d = 0.3, 1.0, and 2.0 respectively. This review did not confirm these beliefs.
Instead, it found that the effect size of human tutoring was much lower: d = 0.79. Moreover, the effect size of intelligent tutoring systems was 0.76, so they are nearly as effective as human tutoring. (Source: The Relative Effectiveness of Human Tutoring, Intelligent Tutoring Services, and Other Tutoring Services)
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