Educational Technology

May 18, 2016

The opportunities and challenges of digital learning

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:39 am

By: Brian A. Jacob, Brookings

Even with the best implementation, digital learning is likely to benefit students differently depending on their personal circumstances and those of their school. For instance, non-native English speakers might benefit from online instruction that allows them to pause and look up unfamiliar words. Likewise, we might expect an online course to be more advantageous for students attending a brick-and-mortar school with very low-quality teachers. A large IES-funded evaluation of computer-aided instruction (CAI) released in 2007 found that students randomly assigned to teachers using the leading CAI products fared no better than students in control classrooms. Several years later, then graduate student Eric Taylor, decided to reanalyze the data from the study, focusing on whether the impacts of these technologies varied across classrooms. His analysis suggests that the introduction of computer-aided instruction had a positive impact on students in classrooms with less effective teachers and a negative impact on students in classrooms with more effective teachers.

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