Double Stuff Oreo of Technology Integration Research

Research study: What Forty Years of Research Says About the Impact of Technology on Learning: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis and Validation Study

The real question for technology advocates: does technology really make a difference to academic achievement? Don’t YOU want to know!

To study this question the researchers conducted a second order meta-analysis.  This second order meta-analysis selected 13 meta-analyses that addressed a total of 1055 primary studies, 574 effect sizes and 60,854 participants.

For those interested in technology integration, this study is vital to your understanding and advocating technology integration.  WHY you ask?

First, you need to understand  the value of a meta-analysis, and second, the value of the second order meta-analysis.

What’s a meta-analysis?

A meta-analysis combines the results from many other studies that have a similar research hypothesis. This is incredibly important because most research studies are so small that they make generalizations impractical,  and even if the study can be replicated, the context is so controlled that it becomes difficult to generalize into anything meaningful. A meta-analysis does not just look at one study, but many. The results are usually meaningful.

The second order meta-analyses evaluated other meta-analysis. That is like a double-stuff Oreo – packet with good stuff! The results should be taken seriously! This second order meta-analysis included elementary, secondary, post secondary, computer-assisted instruction, computer-based instruction, and information and commuter communication technology. The study did not look at distance education.Double Stuff Oreo Picture

DRUM ROLL!

Results: Technology made the difference in modest academic achievement!   Note: There was a higher effect for technologies used for  support rather than for direct instruction.

So what does this mean for teachers? And means that PowerPoint alone will not increase achievement much at all. But, integrated technology with supportive systems has a larger effect on achievement. This coincides with other studies and importantly with the meta-analysis that supports the learner centered classroom which as has a positive impact on student achievement (Cornelius-White, 2007)

Big Question:HOW should technology be included in student learning?
Answer
: More student centered learning goals should align with technology to help students complete a task, not merely PowerPoints.

Pages: 14
Type of Reading
: Academic Research
Worth
:*****
Why
: Vital for technology integration, but challenging to read.
Reference:
Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). 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, 81(1), 4-28. doi:10.3102/0034654310393361

 

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28 Responses to Double Stuff Oreo of Technology Integration Research

  1. Pete says:

    Its interesting that a student in a classroom where technology is used will perform on average 12 percentage points higher than an average student in an environment where technology is not used to enhance learning. Does that mean the USA would be falling even further behind in math and science than the rest of the world if we did not have access to technology? I think many times teachers want technology in their classrooms but do not properly use the technology to align with their course goals and objectives. To further educate students through the use of technology, we as tech ‘experts’ need to be educating teachers on technology, and the proper pedagogical use of that technology.

  2. Jill Nobles says:

    A very integral and interesting read.

  3. Patricia says:

    As cited in this study along with others, the limitations normally surround the small population size to reflect general findings and make them applicable to the United States school system. Technology is normally preferred rather than traditional learning because it normally correlates with increase in achievement. While I strongly support integration of technology in the classroom, because of the creativity and practical knowledge that it brings to learning. Scientific researches have linked early usage of technology slows the growth of a child’s brain cell, damaged vision etc therefore affects the rate at which the brain should develop. Personally, I am a strong believer of traditional instruction with the use of technology to emphasis learning. Technology should be used as the secondary teaching source to bring life to the theory imparted by the facilitator.

  4. June says:

    I thought the article was very interesting but wonder about the time span of 1985. Students and learning are a lot different now than they were over 25 years ago at which time most students and teachers were just learning about technology. Students now come into the classroom already knowing how to use the computer for such things as socialization, games, surfing the net, and creating projects. Times have changed so much since 1985 that I believe the study should have used a shorter time frame. However, if this was the case, the amount of studies that were used may have dropped significantly which may have made the study non-viable.

  5. Ashley says:

    For me one of the most interesting parts of this article was towards the end, on page 16. The authors write that “we are at a place where a shift from technology versus no technology studies to more nuanced studies comparing different conditions, both involving CBI treatment, would help the field progress.” As researchers, we need to realize how we can help the knowledge production in our field. I think that a main point of this article was that we’ve been finding the same results in the research, but we need more detailed information. We can move past the question of “Does technology help?” and move to the question “How does technology help?” or even “what technology helps the most?”
    I do believe that it is important to continue our knowledge production as so that the field does not stagnate. That being said, I don’t think that we should completely abandon the question of “does technology help?” I think that as our field progresses, we will need to continue to prove that technology is continually helping our learners. As our digital natives come of age and grow, I think that we will see our field progress in a way that we haven’t quite seen before.

  6. Steve Burgoon says:

    I feel that technology should be used as a supplement to the classroom experience, regardless of whether it be K-12 or Higher Education. As educators we should not use technology to replace it, rather to enhance lessons, and promote students to go above and beyond. We should strive, through assistive technologies, to allow our students to create their own way of learning.

  7. Steve Burgoon says:

    I accidentally posted the previous. I wasn’t done editing, sorry folks. Here’s who really killed Mr. Body (Clue: The Movie anyone???)

    I feel that technology should be used as a supplement to the classroom experience, regardless of whether it be K-12 or Higher Education, but NOT as a replacement.

    As educators we should not use technology to replace it, rather to enhance lessons, and promote students to go above and beyond. We should strive, through assistive technologies, to allow our students to create their own way of learning.

  8. Paul Flynn says:

    I think a case and point aspect of this study is evident in a type of technology that is valued as a “must have” in today’s SMART classroom, the SmartBoard. I do not deny that there are distinct interactive and multimedia-related advantages of the SmartBoard over conventional white- and chalkboards, but how many instructors use them to their full potential. Having worked in a school district, I can attest to a lot of, “Wow! That’s really cool” vs. how can this technology better education and learning technique. I believe that in order for technology to be utilized effectively and completely, the entire school district from curriculum developers to the teachers have to be on board with developing and utilizing the technology to it’s fullest extent as opposed to using it to be nothing better than an alternative to the good old chalkboard.

  9. Alyssa Bolante says:

    I have always felt that technology should be used “as support for cognition” than just use for “presentation of content”. If more educators understood how to use technology as support, technology would have a higher impact on learning. Its difficult because in this day and age where technology is constantly changing I agree that the particular technologies in their time and in their place produced some measure of success in achieving the goals they were designed. It will always be difficult to measure this.

  10. Alyssa Bolante says:

    I have always felt that technology should be used “as support for cognition” than just use for “presentation of content”. If more educators understood how to use technology as support, technology would have a higher impact on learning. Just because a teacher uses power point to present the information doesn’t mean it helps support a learner’s cognitive understanding. Its difficult because in this day and age where technology is constantly changing I agree that the particular technologies in their time and in their place produced some measure of success in achieving the goals they were designed. It will always be difficult to measure this.

  11. Brittany Anthony says:

    This study was definitely an interesting read. I can understand why the results concluded that technology mainly serves as support to instruction. I feel there should always be that human element available. I wish the study would have covered research on distant learning. This would have influenced the findings substantially.

  12. Eric says:

    It seems I am the ultimate late adopter on this blog posting…

    I agree the study and results were very interesting.

    I feel further research may be needed to evaluate the effects of other variables potentially responsible for influencing student achievement in classrooms using technology versus traditional classrooms sans technology. With that said, I believe positive research results demonstrated from this study can only help to promote the infusion of additional technologies into more and more classrooms. As technology continues to become increasingly more prevalent in our daily lives, this infusion will become exponentially more important.

    Ultimately, educational technology can only be as beneficial as the educator who promotes and teaches it within each curriculum and classroom. I feel educators have a great responsibility when it comes to successful technological utilization in the classroom. I agree with Pete that we need to ensure our educators are being well trained to successfully impart their technological knowledge to students.

  13. Millie says:

    It’s just a shame that with all of the new technologies, our schools are so far behide in implementing technology in curriculums. Teachers need to receive the support they need to integrate these new technologies.
    One problem that I see with technology is deciding which one to implement in the classroom. There are so many valuable studies on the implementation of technology in the classroom. It’s no wonder why schools aren’t able to afford every new technology that comes out in the market. I agree with many of you that technology should be used a supplement and that a substitue for instruction.

  14. Ziarre says:

    Now we know who the sneisble one is here. Great post!

  15. Stacy says:

    This second order meta-analysis study just raises more questions in my mind than answers. What types of technologies are included within these studies and how this conglomeration of information is being generalized to the population over a wide range of technological history? I can see why large scale generalizations are necessary for implementing change on different levels, but how much would the synthesis of data be changed by comparing regions or by emerging technology markers? The study seems to be measuring different types of fruits in the entire produce department of a grocery store. In conclusion, what do educators value most when using technology? Should it be used as a means for students to have self efficacy, tools to support the learning process or a number of others, and do these values cross over into trends of research?

  16. Sylvent says:

    This article is very important as it ultimately shows that technology plays a big part enhances students learning process.

    Even though computers “foster better achievement and bolster students’ attitudes towards learning in general” as quoted in the article (p5), it takes away the human element in learning. The teacher student relationship is broken and sometimes this relationship is key to learning.

    This article influenced my thinking in that, the use of computer technology for some students may be a good tool to enhance learning but technology cannot be effective without direct instructions, so one needs to combine both.

    The article shed light on the fact that techonology is necessary to support research and instruction, and yet I should be conscious of students learning preferences and the ability to use technology appropriately.

  17. Lindsay says:

    I agree that technology should be a part of the classroom but I don’t think it should solely substitute instruction. It should be used as an asset to improve learning abilities. Although the educators need to well trained on how to use the technology being implemented in order for it to make an impact.

  18. Emily says:

    I think this article creates a good starting point for others, I am thinking individual teachers or school districts, to do their own action research. The meta-analysis gives them the data to go to a principal or school board and say, “Look, 40 years of research in all grade levels, across many subjects says that technology works, so let’s try it.” It supports the now more commonly held belief that we should be teaching our students with technology, which can convince administration and parents to be more open to research. This research could lead an interested person to research more aligned specifically to their grade level and subject area, and eventually to their own research, designed to fit their needs. The benefit and drawback of this meta-analysis is that it is so widely focused.

  19. Matt says:

    As a director of tech I get asked questions like this all the time – will this technology directly increase achievement scores – will that technology directly increase achievement scores…When we started installing smart boards I did much research to see if there would be a direct correlation to increases in achievement scores… I am glad to see this meta analysis finds the answers that I usually find – a general increase in achievement scores when coupled with good technology integration and pedagogy. There may not be a silver bullet in technology but any well executed technology can be beneficial in many ways (even above and beyond achievement scores but I will not get into a real world skills discussion).

  20. Kim Roselli says:

    “We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick
    I love this quote because it sums up my feelings regarding technology in the classroom. I also do not believe that teaching from a PowerPoint is what is needed with technology integration in the classroom. If I were in a classroom I would view myself as the facilatator- the tour guide of technology. Students (whether K-12 or post-secondary) are living in their devices- it is where we need to reach and teach them!

  21. S.Jasmine Evans says:

    I feel that technology should be used in the classroom experience in order to help increase students’ knowledge. By doing so students that need assistive technologies such as augmentative devices would be able to participate in classrooms activities.

  22. Barbara Haug says:

    I feel that assistive technology in the classroom has become not only useful, but vital for student learning and success. Electronic devices have become a part of classroom learning and have taught students content in ways non-technological methods could. Further research should be continuing daily in order to aid student learning in the classroom and maximizing every students potential.

  23. Katarah Jordan says:

    This was actually a very interesting article. I DO not think that by any means technology should be a replacement for any form of education. Technology should only be used to aid students in there learning experience. Technology should help students broaden there horizons.

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