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Prof Steve Higgins, School of Education, Durham University,

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1 The Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and the Sutton Trust/EEF Toolkit
Prof Steve Higgins, School of Education, Durham University, Transforming Teaching National Seminar 17th October, 2013 Priory Rooms, Birmingham

2 Overview What’s ‘worked’ in the past What hasn’t worked
The importance of pedagogy A look towards the future

3 The UK context Huge investments in ICT in schools
World leader on IWB uptake Learning platforms/ VLEs common in schools Gaming approaches promoted with (past) government support New computing curriculum

4 Evidence from correlational studies
“Studies linking provision and use of technology in schools ...find small positive associations with educational outcomes but it is not clear that this is always a causal link” (e.g. Harrison et al. 2004) Good schools may invest more in technology (Moseley et al. 1999) When socio-economic factors are controlled for - no effect (Fuchs and Woessmann 2004) The link is not a simple linear one – optimal use may be a better concept (e.g. OECD 2006)

5 Experimental studies “Evidence from experimental and quasi- experimental designs indicates consistent moderate benefit” (e.g. Sipe and Curlette 1997; Pearson, 2005) Comparison with other researched interventions suggests technology-based interventions tend to produce average gains (e.g. Hattie, 2009; Higgins et al. 2012)

6 Digital technologies in the Sutton Trust/EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit

7 Six myths about digital technology
The ‘Future Facing’ Fallacy “New technologies are being developed all the time, the past history of the impact of technology is irrelevant to what we have now or will be available tomorrow.” The ‘Different Learners’ Myth “Today’s children are digital natives and the ‘net generation – they learn differently from older people”. The Information and Knowledge Confusion “Learning has changed now we have access to knowledge through the internet, today’s children don’t need to know stuff, they just need to know where to find it.”

8 Six myths about digital technology
The Motivation Myth “Students are motivated by technology so they must learn better when they use it.” The Everest Fallacy “We must use technology because it is there!” The “More is Better” Mistake “If some technology is a good thing, then more must be better.”

9 Evidence from ICT meta-analyses
Collaborative use (pairs/ small groups) more effective than individual use Effective as short but focussed interventions Remedial / tutorial use can be particularly effective as catch-up Greater gains when it supplements rather than replaces normal teaching. Training and professional development are essential

10 What hasn’t ‘worked’… LOGO Integrated learning systems
One-to-one laptops Talking books Interactive whiteboards No ‘magic bullets’

11 It ain’t what you use it’s the way that you use it!

12 Getting the most from technology
Innovators & early adopters choose digital technology to do something differently – as a solution to a problem When adopted by the majority, focus is on the technology, but not as a solution The laggards use the technology to replicate what they were already doing without ICT Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations. Simon and Schuster.

13 Issues How well you use it is more important than whether you use it or not Pedagogy trumps technology Consider cost effectiveness? So…beware of geeks bearing gifts?

14 Quality matters… Good teaching and learning activities
At the right level of challenge Provide opportunities for feedback Provide opportunities for self-regulation Help learners to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning (meta-cognition) Move the learner on From the task (skills, knowledge, understanding) In their learning (attitudes, dispositions, meta-cognition)

15 Why will these be any different?
kinect iPads e-learning Wii Raspberry Pi

16 Improving learning – what improves?
What changes? For teachers Better explanations? More feedback? More accurate assessment? Quicker feedback? Greater level of challenge/focus? More efficient use of time? For pupils Work harder? For longer? More efficiently? Greater understanding? More depth? Faster? Better self-regulation? More meta-cognition? Effective collaboration? With tasks Better matched? Better support/feedback? Better progression? Greater self-regulation?

17 A counting picture... Child chooses a stamp
Creates collections to count Teacher helps with colouring of sets and assesses number skills Picture used for whole class discussions, goes home for further practice Class had been taught the necessary ICT skills by the Team’s member Kevin knew how to create and ‘stamp’ icons on the screen the teacher had to help with the colouring of the ‘fields’ after printing, the pictures were used at the end of the day for ‘carpet session’ Q’s for whole class.

18 Learning about decimals with a portable computer in 1998...
used Apple e-Mate with pressure mats used as sophisticated timing device picture shows an e-Mate used as a glorified stop watch BUT with no new skills needed. Pupils followed screen prompts with screen pen.

19 Challenge 1: how fast can you run?
start on mat - run to wall - return to mat record time in secs to 2 decimal places smallest is best In this ‘game’ was better then 6.39

20 Challenge 2: how long can you stay in the air?
stand on mat - jump - how long in the air (to 2 decimal places)? children see need for multiple trials change of focus - biggest is best - jumping In this game, 0.47 was better then 0.32 equipment was limited - foam sandwich in pressure mat was slow! times below 0.5 secs nearly always the same so .... children devised alternative - help each other to stay in the air! see picture. Now typical times were 0.76 and 0.81 etc.

21 one of their recording sheets
new game involved having to complete some skipping as well as running done outside in play yard - no teacher supervision! of their own volition, started multiple trials and then decided how to use the data differently: ‘best’ time, total time, and eventually, average time (using calculators!)

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