I have used this blog on several occasions, and others in the edblogosphere have used their blogs to ask where the examples and research are that support integrating tech into the school curriculum? I have my own experience to tell me that tech along with project-based, problem-based approaches is valuable. In my opinion especially for â€œAt-Riskâ€ students, a strong field trip program along with the arts and physical education to build the schema so lacking otherwise should also be part of the curriculum. But, where is the support for that approach outside of those of us that have embraced it on our own? There has been for quite awhile research available that supports tech integration, but mainly in writing and a few other areas. Now comes a â€œstudy of studies,â€ that shows promise for tech as a valuable educational tool.
The report – Technology in Schools: What the Research Says
discusses many valuable approaches including: Social networking, Gaming Interactive Whiteboards, PDAâ€™s, and 1:1 learning initiatives. When discussing social networking the report states:
â€œEducators are finding that reflective dialog augments learning. Social networking accelerates learning and is facilitated by technology. Students are highly motivated to communicate via technology be it text messaging, email, instant messaging, talking, or videoconferencing. Social networking via technology can connect students to a broad range of interactivity that sharpens and extends thinking and piques intellectual curiosity.â€
â€œThe power behind games is in the concentrated attention of the user to an environment that continuously reinforces knowledge, scaffolds learning, provides leveled, appropriate challenges, and provides context to the learning of content.â€
This report is not about saying that tech is the magic bullet â€“ it makes the point that:
â€œResearchers find that extracting the full learning return from a technology investment requires much more than the mere introduction of technology with software and web resources aligned with the curriculum. It requires the triangulation of content, sound principles of learning, and high-quality teachingâ€”all of which must be aligned with assessment and accountability.â€
â€œâ€¦it is an enabling force behind globalization, knowledge work, and entrepreneurship, and thus students must understand the role it plays in transforming political, social, cultural, civic, and economic systems around the world.â€
Technology in Schools: What the Research Says â€“ is downloadable as an 18 page PDF file including 2 pages of research citations.