Technology and Academic Achievement

Technology and Academic Achievement

Summary of "Technology and Academic Achievement"

"Technology and Academic Achievement" by Les Foltos talks about the high cost of Technology in elementary and secondary schools throughout the country. It has reported that over $5 billion are invested in annually in educational technology. With the lack of evidence that technology positively affects academic achievement, its not a surprise that many observers are asking whether the resources and time devoted to technology might produce more significant increases in academic achievement if focused on other education needs.

Some studies have shown that educational technology actually does have a positive impact on academic achievement. Studies such as Harold Wenglinsky's, "Does it Compute: The Relationship between Educational Technology and Student Achievement in Mathematics," concluded that for 4th and 8th graders technology has "positive benefits" on achievement as measured in NAEP's mathematics test. In this same study, Wenglinsky's also notes that not all benefits are positive, and that some, might be negative. He explains that technology might have a negative effect on students because using computers to teach actually lowers order thinking skills. "Put another way, this type of computer use was worse than doing nothing." On the other hand, mathematics teachers who had their students use computers to solve problems saw their student's math score increase.

There are also people who believe technology can in fact, have positive benefits to academic achievement, but the reason we are not receiving these positive results is because we are just not using technology right. For example, The Secretary of Education Rod Paige recently told educators they need to look beyond their focus on wiring schools and providing classroom access to computers. "The (real) issue," Paige insisted, "is how we use this access-how we get results." Paige encouraged educators to ask how technology can "add value to...

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