After reading a few sections of the SETDA report on technology integration, it still seems very subjective on how we can measure the impact of technology integration on academic curriculum. For example, I was reading a report of a school in Arkansas, which mentioned that they achieved academic gains with the integration of technology. According to the report, “teachers fully integrated technology into curriculum and instruction,” and that it contributed to significant increases in scores. On whose authority should we be convinced that this particular school “fully” integrated technology. Where is the accountability? What other factors and variables could have contributed to academic gains?
Maybe there is no way to objectively provide answers to the question, but rather offer a standardized model that all schools could follow. I am still trying to wrap my head around this central question: How much impact does educational technology integration have on academic achievement?
It is transparent how to assess students’ academic growth using technologies such as Edusoft, NWEA, and Accelerated Reader. All these great tools help teachers comprehensively assess their students to help guide their instruction. However, I want to evaluate another aspect of technology assessment that really begs the question: How much impact does educational technology integration have on academic achievement?
After researching this subject, I have found very little information post 2002. The research found is outdated is not relevant with the tools and resources of web 2.0. I sent out a tweet about the subject, but have not heard from anyone regarding the topic. I understand that it is a difficult topic to wrap a concrete answer, however, I believe a topic that needs more attention by educational technology professionals. It may not be cut and dry like an Accelerated Reader program that will tell you a student’s reading level, but rather a model that represents growth in learning skills due to instructional technologies.
Although I have yet to see a model of assessing technology integration and its impact on academic curriculum, I feel at the bare minimum, it should have the following components.
- Measuring student engagement and interest in content area subjects
- Measuring digital literacy
- Finding correlation with schools with successful technology integration and test scores
- Measuring teacher technology growth using websites like EdTech Profile and correlating the growth with student achievement
- Measuring how differentiation using technology correlates to student achievement
- Measuring how technology enrichment projects and assignment correlates to student achievement.