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In our first issue of Teaching The AvatarGeneration iPad Magazine, we looked at 6 great EdTech research studies. Scientists and educators are constantly coming up with new ways to improve education through technology. Studies not only result in new technologies for the classroom, but also provide more information on the effects existing technologies have on student performance.
Computer Literacy and Access to Technology
Before students can take advantage of the latest innovations in technology, they must be able to access and use the systems available to them. Recent studies have focused on the correlation between technology access, computer literacy and student achievement.
This report from the National Association of State Boards of Education looks at the role technology plays in schools and communities. It offers suggestions for addressing computer and digital literacy to help students learn to use technology effectively. Findings for helping educators use technology to meet students’ needs and helping schools develop an infrastructure to support future technology are also included.
2. The Smarter Balanced Technology Strategy Framework
As teachers adopt the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms, they must also prepare for new assessments. In order to prepare for technology-based assessments, schools must be equipped with the appropriate technological infrastructures for administering those assessments. Students must also be able to navigate the systems effectively to avoid being at a disadvantage when it comes time to take the test.
3. Project Red
Project Red has conducted research on the correlation between technology use and student achievement. Over 997 K-12 schools in the U.S. were studied. Researchers found that schools with a 1:1 student-computer ratio and those that met other key components had higher levels of achievement, leading to questions about how schools should refine their current technology programs to experience similar levels of success.
Improving STEM education for students must be a priority in order for students to be successful in a world that is increasingly becoming focused on computers and technology. Research is focused on providing students with new ways to access important STEM concepts and also build their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Based in the UK, the Personal Inquiry Project focused on teaching students to “think and act like scientists.” Using a system called nQuire, students were encouraged to design and implement their own scientific investigations outside of the classroom. Conducting relevant, self-planned research helped students gain a better understanding of scientific principles and the scientific process as a whole.
MIT’s Game Lab has developed A Slower Speed of Light, a game prototype designed to help students understand the theories of physics. Using a basic gameplay, students interact with laws of physics and a changing speed of light to help bring a realistic component to a complex subject. By making the code available to game developers, the study encourages other developers to create more games to benefit learners and help them understand some of the more complex areas of scientific research.
iCat looks at how humans and robots interact and how robots can play a role in daily life. Studies such as this provide insight into how technology will look in the future and offer a glimpse of the skills students will need to conduct their own future research or interact with this technology.