But Does It Work?

Some thoughts about the effectiveness of educational technology, and how we should think about it in school settings.

(Prepared for In-Service Day Conference for Seattle teachers at the University of Washington, October, 1996, and revised for discussion with UW College of Education Partner School representatives, January, 1997.)

1. How Do We Frame the Question?

- Does technology (computers, multimedia, WWW, etc.) affect outcomes on standardized tests? - Does technology affect students' abilities to solve problems better? - Does technology affect students' abilities to solve better problems?

2. Modes of Technology Use in Classrooms

  1. TUTOR (traditional CAI; drill & practice; ILSs)
  2. TOOL (application software -- WP, spreadsheets, databases, CAD, etc.)
  3. TOY (games and game-like programs)
  4. TUTEE (simulations, "probeware," LOGO, etc.)
  5. TRACKER (Internet and WWW; networked environments)
  6. TRANSFEROR (E-mail and mail-based projects)
  7. TELEPRESENTOR (virtual reality)

3. Why Are the Results so Varied?

- Standard vs. Diverse Outcomes - Difficulties in Design - Lack of Comparable Settings

4. Issues in Research and Evaluation

- Technology Can: - BUT: Technology Can also:

5. Next Frontiers in Research and Evaluation

- Classroom Context - Social Issues - Constructivism and Technology - Knowledge Navigation and Connoisseurship Back to Kerr's Home Page

Stephen T Kerr
Email -- stkerr@u.washington.edu
Web -- http://weber.u.washington.edu/~stkerr/