Technology's Effectiveness in
What is the effect of technology? Is it worth the cost? Take a
look at how to evaluate the effectiveness of technology
implementation within your district.
Studies on Technology Effectiveness
The following studies have been launched to evaluate the
effectiveness of technology:
"The Costs and
Effectiveness of Educational Technology: Proceedings of a
Workshop" Arthur Melmed (editor) November 1995.
This two-day workshop [
] was organized primarily to
gather information and expert opinion on the potential
benefits and effectiveness of the school use of computer
technology. Over the course of two days, workshop
participants heard and considered 14 presentations,
including summary reviews of the implementations and
benefits of the school-wide use of computer technology in
five pioneering technology-rich schools; four reviews of
experimental and empirical data on the use of computer
technology in order to implement a familiar curriculum
component or realize a well-defined goal in K-12 and
adult education, and military training; a prepared paper
on the technology related costs for technology-rich
schools; and a prepared paper discussing factors
affecting what can be learned about technology in
education from traditional evaluation methodology.
Denis Doyle and Eliot Levinson "Doing More with
Less" American School Board Journal March 1993
Education Laboratory (NCRELs) Technology Effectiveness
Framework (see below)
The Technology Effectiveness Framework was developed to
assist educators, researchers, and policymakers in
evaluating technology and technology-enhanced
programs/curricula against specific reform goals for a
school, district, state, or service agency."
Technology Effectiveness Framework
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the learning goals to which technology applies?
- How are these learning goals moving the school toward
- How will a technology-enhanced curriculum support
instructions that addresses those learning goals?
- Does the technology-enhanced approach help restructure
the school to meet its plant for educational reform?
- Do the students achieve the learning goals using the
- Can the school implement cost-efficient technologies
given its goals and current realities?
- Can the school extend or adapt less functional
technologies so that they are more functional to support
a global community of learners in sustained learning that
is challenging and authentic?
- Are there funding strategies/partnerships that can reduce
- How can a school continuously plan to use technology to
reach for more powerful learning goals and reform?
Keep in mind the following variables that define learning:
- The goals and metaphors that drive learning and
instructions (vision of learning).
- The tasks that ultimately define the nature and level of
achievement as well as the curriculum
- The assessment principles and practice.
- The instructional model.
- The characteristics of the learning context including
where learning takes place, the nature of the learning
environment, the nature of the relationship among
teachers and students.
- The learner roles.
- Teacher roles.
Maintain the new definition of Technology Effectiveness to
- Authentic and multi-disciplinary tasks
- Addresses important issues and problems in the real
- Performance-based assessment.
- Interactive models of instruction.
- Heterogeneous groupings.
- Students exploration.
- Teacher as facilitator.
Remember . . .
- LEARNERS: knowledgeable, self-determined, strategic,
- TASKS: challenging, authentic, integrative
- ASSESSMENT: performance-based, generative, seamlessly
interwoven with curriculum and instruction
- INSTRUCTIONAL MODELS AND STRATEGIES: interactive,
- LEARNING CONTEXT: knowledge-building learning community,
values diversity and multiple perspectives, wide-ranging
collaborative experiences in and out of school.
- GROUPING: heterogeneous, flexible, equitable
- TEACHER ROLES: facilitator, guide
- STUDENT ROLES: explorer, cognitive apprentice
Six Variables for Technology Assessment
- Access of school to telecommunications and within given
classroom to diverse technologies and resources.
- Location and direction of resources.
- Capacity of technology or program to engage students in
- Ease of use.
- Functionality (capacity of the technology to prepare
students of a diversity of technology functions).
- Access: connectivity and interconnectivity, design for
- Operability: interoperability, open architecture,
- Resource location and direction: distributed, user
control of input, designed for collaborative projects
- Capacity for engagement: provide access to authentic and
challenging tasks, interesting and useful databases or
information sets and powerful relationships, take charge
of learning, problem solving and exploring, provide
information that is just in time and just enough, make
explicit what is typically implicit, diagnose learning
problems, adapt the system output and learning
opportunities in light of diagnoses, customize learning
for specific interests, levels of ability and learning
- Ease of use: effective help, user friendliness, speed of
processing and operations, user control, training and
- Functionality: prepare learners for diversity of
technology functions used in the workplace and homes in
the 21sst Century, develop skills for programming and
authoring, develop skills related to project design and