Study Ties Student Achievement to Technology Integration

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Technology adoption is on the rise in America's K-12 schools, and it's having a positive impact on learning outcomes. That's one of the findings from a new national trends report released Thursday by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

The report, Focus on Technology Integration in America's Schools, examined programs in all 50 states in which technology was being effectively integrated into the curriculum, focusing on content, curricula, professional development, and assessments, with a particular emphasis on programs benefitting from Title II, Part D ("Enhancing Education Through Technology" or "EETT") funds.

Among the findings, the report showed that in high-need schools, there's been a 31 percent increase in the "innovative use of technology by teachers in core subject areas." What's more, in these schools, the report found significant increases in reading and math achievement (17 percent to 33 percent in reading and 18 percent to 36 percent in math).

In fact, states are focusing heavily on core subjects in their EETT competitive grant programs. Twenty-three states programs focus on math; 18 focus on science; 22 focus on reading; and 20 focus on writing.

 

The report also saw a 14-point increase in graduation rates, from 66 percent to 80 percent.

"We are very excited by these promising results," said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of SETDA, in a statement released Thursday. "The report can help guide education leaders and policymakers as they develop programs that will prepare our students for the global workforce. As in business, technology can help develop sustainable programs with short and long-term academic and economic benefits."

Aside from academic improvements related to technology adoption, the study also found:

  • Virtual learning options have increased for students;
  • Professional development helps prepare educators for technology integration;
  • There's an increase in state-coordinated research; and
  • Student technology literacy is on the rise.

"Educators are finding that the use of technology increases student engagement and empowers individualized instruction," said John Wilson, executive director of the National Education Association, in a statement released to coincide with the report. "The successes highlighted in the Trends Report show how instructional technology can address teachers' need for engaging curricula, as well as increase access to management and assessment tools to enhance the way students learn and teachers teach."

Further information, including an executive summary and a complete copy of the report in PDF format, can be found on SETDA's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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