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Technology enhancing learning: providing opportunities versus managing challenges? Don Passey Senior Research Fellow Department of Educational Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology enhancing learning: providing opportunities versus managing challenges? Don Passey Senior Research Fellow Department of Educational Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology enhancing learning: providing opportunities versus managing challenges? Don Passey Senior Research Fellow Department of Educational Research Lancaster University 1

2 Contextual statement Over the past 15 years schools and colleges in the UK have gained enormously in terms of provision of digital technologies. Associated with this increase in provision, a range of studies have shown enhanced subject attainment arising from uses of technologies 2

3 The issue Even though there are nearly 20 years of evidence of benefits for learners arising from uses of digital technologies, not only measured by subject attainment outcomes, but also measured in terms of more specific cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, social and emotional outcomes, there are still head teachers who openly say that the hype about the benefits of technology enhancing learning has been too great. Across the past 15 years there have been initial increases in uses of digital technologies, but long-standing uses are much less common, and specific uses often reduce over time 3

4 Integrated learning systems Underwood et al., 1997 Studies with students in upper primary and lower secondary schools using and not using the SuccessMaker (and other) ILSs. They identified significantly higher learning gains for students using the system compared to those not, which was replicated when use continued over a two-year period, and the gain for those using the system for one year only was maintained for a second year when compared to those not using the system at all (Effect Sizes of 0.4 and 0.35 respectively) So, why has use of these systems decreased over time? 4

5 Higher order concepts Wenglinsky, 1998 Findings from a study in the US that statistically analyzed results from the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress in mathematics for two samples of students (6,227 fourth-graders and 7,146 eighth- graders) using the technique of structural equation modelling technology does matter to academic achievement, with the important caveat that whether it matters depends upon how it is used … when computers are used to perform certain tasks, namely applying higher order concepts, and when teachers are proficient enough in computer use to direct students toward productive uses more generally, computers do seem to be associated with significant gains in mathematics achievement, as well as an improved social environment in the school (p. 32) So, why is there not more focus on higher order concepts? 5

6 Selected technologies and impacts Schacter and Fagnano, 1999 When administrators, teachers, and parents understand that different computer technologies serve and augment different learning experiences, they can make informed judgments about which technologies are best suited to enhance student learning and achievement (p. 341) So, why has there been limited research into specific technologies and their outcomes? 6

7 Levels of digital technologies Harrison et al., 2002 Positive associations were also found for mathematics at Key Stage 2, although they were not as striking and not statistically significant. It is possible on the basis of these findings to estimate that high ICT use at Key Stage 2... can help to raise performance... in mathematics by 1.69 marks or of a National Curriculum level. This is equivalent to a substantial acceleration in progress through these levels of % of two years achievement in Key Stage 2 mathematics. The general level of ICT use in Key Stage 2... in mathematics is 47% (36% at home) (p. 2) So, how have these findings been used by practitioners? 7

8 Interactive whiteboards Somekh et al., 2007 A study of impacts of interactive whiteboards in primary schools. They concluded that at Key Stage 2, average and high attaining boys and girls who had been taught extensively with the interactive whiteboard made the equivalent of an extra 2.5 to 5 months progress in mathematics over the course of two years, all pupils except high attaining girls made greater progress in science with more exposure to the interactive whiteboards, with low attaining boys making as much as 7.5 months additional progress, and boys with low prior attainment made 2.5 months of additional progress in writing So, why are some schools now removing interactive whiteboards? 8

9 Teacher roles Studies have demonstrated the key roles that teachers have played, at the heart of making a difference (Bransford et al., 2000; Cox et al., 2003) Cox, Webb, Abbott, Blakeley, Beauchamp, and Rhodes (2003) clearly pointed out the roles of teachers in their review of studies of pedagogy associated with impacts of technology Studies show that the most effective uses of ICT are those in which the teacher and the software can challenge pupils understanding and thinking.... If the teacher has the skills to organise and stimulate the ICT-based activity, then both whole- class and individual work can be equally effective (p. 3) 9

10 Reasons for short-standing practice I suggest that: Technological development leads inevitably to on-going shifts and replacement There is often a pedagogical lack of match between technologies and ways practitioners wish to use them Political drive can lead to over-simplification of findings and inabilities to transpose these into practice Cultural drive can lead to over-simplification of concepts of outcomes and impacts on learning and learners There is a lack of focus on fundamental management needs 10

11 Pedagogical match 11 Passey (In print)

12 Oversimplification of learning 12 Passey (2006)

13 Focus on lower order thinking 13 Passey (2006)

14 Lack of management focus The BBC News School Report project, run since 2006, enables students to create and broadcast their own video, audio and text-based news reports. The initiative encourages schools to put the reports on to their websites at a particular time on a particular day each year (known as News Day), the sites are then linked to the BBC News School Report website, made accessible to regional and national radio and television broadcasting teams, and to a worldwide audience. Five hundred and fourteen schools (some outside England) were involved in this project in 2008 to 2009 They often worked in after-school clubs or in teams in certain lessons. Student perceptions of their own gains (statistically significant in many cases) were concerned not only with specific subject skills, but also with team working, creativity, attitudes towards work, and social interactions Passey and Gillen (2009) 14

15 Managing home involvement In 2005, a project was initiated in an area located to the north of the central city area of Birmingham, the second largest city in England. This area, called Aston Pride, was placed in the 10% most deprived areas in England by Batty et al. (2010). In 2005, the project (also called Aston Pride) reported that the area contained 14,314 residents in 4,500 households The Phase 3 Project focused on aspects of learning, and in particular, taking learning home for primary school children. Teachers (85 in total) describing their practices reported using online facilities to provide homework activities. This practice had shifted the types of homework activity that pupils could be engaged in, heralded a shift in terms of demands on pupils outside classrooms, and was seen to be changing the qualities of learning demands outside the classroom. By the end of the project, using standardised tests, and using a series of statistical analyses to check validity and significance of outcomes, both positive shifts in mathematics and reading results were identified in a large population of pupils (Passey, 2011) 15

16 What the evidence suggests Providing learning opportunities for young people should currently be as much, if not more, concerned with enabling innovative management practices than providing novel ideas Managing technological development and provision in terms of on-going shifts and replacement Managing a pedagogical match between technologies and ways practitioners use them, at a classroom, subject and school levels Managing a focus on higher order needs, avoiding an over- simplification of concepts of outcomes and impacts on learning and learners Considering places and opportunities for learning, not just within classrooms, but also within after-school clubs, and linked with homes 16

17 References Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.) (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press Cox, M., Webb, M., Abbott, C., Blakeley, B., Beauchamp, T., & Rhodes, V. (2003). ICT and pedagogy: A review of the research literature (ICT in Schools Research and Evaluation Series No. 18). Coventry/London: Becta/DfES Harrison, C., Comber, C., Fisher, T., Haw, K., Lewin, C., Lunzer,... Watling, R. (2002). ICT in schools. Research and Evaluation Series No. 7: The impact of information and communication technologies on pupil learning and attainment. London: DfES Passey, D. (2006) Technology enhancing learning: Analysing uses of information and communication technologies by primary and secondary school pupils with learning frameworks. The Curriculum Journal, 17(2), 139 – 166 Passey, D. (2011). Independent evaluation of the Aston Pride Phase 3 Computers in the Home Project (2009 to 2011): Final Report - March Lancaster, UK: Lancaster University Passey, D. (In print). Educational Technologies and Mathematics: Signature Pedagogies and Learner Impacts. Computers in the Schools. DOI: / Passey, D. and Gillen, J. (2009). BBC News School Report 2008/2009: Independent Evaluation. BBC: London Schachter, J., & Fagnano, C. (1999). Does computer technology improve student learning and achievement? How, when, and under what conditions? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 20(4), Somekh, B., Haldane, M., Jones, K., Lewin, C., Steadman, S., Scrimshaw, P., Sing, S., Bird, K., Cummings, J., Downing, B., Harber Stuart, T., Jarvis, J., Mavers, D. and Woodrew, D. (2007). Evaluation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard Expansion Project. DfES: Nottingham Underwood, J., Cavendish, S., Dowling, S., & Lawson, T. (1997). A study of sustainable learning gains in UK schools. In J. Underwood & J. Brown (Eds.), Integrated learning systems: Potential into practice. Oxford: Heinemann Wenglinksy, H. (1998). Policy information report: Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics. Princeton, NJ: Policy Information Center 17

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