Research: ICT Cannot make a Measurable Impact on Standards

The implementation of ICT in schools in England has been challenged by a research paper which argues that ICT policy has tended to focus on hardware and an attempt to keep up with changing technology, rather than pedagogic understanding. The paper, released in the British Journal of Educational Technology – written by Michael Hammond who is the Director of the Centre for New Technologies Research in Education at the University of Warwick – also argues that ICT is not a catalyst for curriculum reform.

The research article states…

“The introduction of ICT has been justified as having the potential to make a “significant” impact on learning outcomes, but such an impact is unlikely and methodologically implausible. A special association between ICT and a more personalised /learner-centred/socially constructivist framework for teaching and learning has also been claimed, but this is again unlikely.”

In considering the problems, the research highlights three important areas which are holding back meaningful ICT implementation: Technology invites difficulties as well as opportunities – can lead to dumbing down of teaching explanation to a series of bullet points; Activities with technology being used show little evidence for impact of learning; A novelty value of ICT use – with little evidence of impact or improvement of the learning process.

Importantly, the article does not argue for a rejection of ICT; rather for a use of ICT that is considered and evaluated in more appropriate ways. Successful interventions with ICT rarely result in a revolution in schooling, but they do provide the basis for developing worthwhile practice.

The research abstract is available here.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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