PS3014 ICT & Education The impact of ICT on Learning Chris Comber email@example.com the PAST: 1960s - 1980s Numerous claims for potential of computers to 'revolutionise learning‟ Just as earlier claims for radio, television, video…. but by early 80s, IT failed to make major impact in schools During '80s : no. of UK government initiatives 1980-95 £200m. National Curriculum IT compulsory element 1996: the end of the PAST? „Superhighways for Education‟ Nationwide consultation Education Departments‟ Superhighways Initiative (EDSI) 22 school/industry partnership pilot projects Evaluation by 6 research teams 22 individual reports on potential of ICT 1997: The beginning of the PRESENT „Synoptic‟ report of EDSI projects Scrimshaw Commissioned reports on IT in schools McKinsey Stevenson Putting the „C‟ in ICT McKinsey Report (1997) "IT..has the potential to enhance and even transform education" UK: higher ratio of PCs per child than most countries…but much of it obsolete early IT initiatives focused on hardware educational potential taken as read, but rarely articulated McKinsey Report continued UK had technological edge, but at expense of deeper considerations about the ways in which the use of IT can enhance learning schools may have had the equipment, but it did not necessarily follow that they were using it effectively, or at all. 1997: continued New Labour Government under Tony Blair „Connecting the Learning Society‟ Consultation document on the future of ICT Launch of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) ‘Connecting the Learning Society’ Foreword “Technology has revolutionised the way we work, so too is it about to transform education” "Children cannot be effective in tomorrow's world if they are trained in yesterdays skills" National Grid for Learning (NGfL) Serious governmental initiative massive increase in IT/ICT provision schools at the heart of the programme - computers to be a „fact of life‟ in all schools new emphasis on ICT & its potential for learning NGfL Targets for 2002 teachers should be competent and confident using ICT in the curriculum all schools & colleges should be connected to internet pupils will have a good understanding of ICT UK as centre of excellence for educational s/w administration and inter-school communication will cease to be paper-based NGfL strategy £230m [„NOF‟] funding for teacher training NC for ICT for student teachers („4/98‟) funding for infrastructure and hardware new spending (£1bn) for h/w & infrastructure creation of on-line resource areas 1999-The PRESENT ICT in Schools (ICTiS) Series of major government initiatives Major funding for hardware, software and infrastructure Laptops for Teachers Curriculum online eLearning credits National Broadband network National programme of training provision for teachers („NOF‟) National programme of professional development for headteachers („SLICT‟) Interactive whiteboards Testbed project Researching ICT „growing body of evidence‟ that ICT motivates pupils and is a „key lever‟ in improving performance & „driving up standards‟ (DfES, 2001:84) “It is entirely reasonable that many teachers should be sceptical … [they need] sound evidence that ICT is of proven value, or clear guidance as to what that value is” McFarlane (1997) 3 Key areas of research Impact of ICT on: School organisation Teaching Learning Impact School organisation Administration Policy Design & layout Purchasing Impact Teaching Teaching styles Teacher confidence & skill Curriculum design Resource development Impact Learning Attainment Subject knowledge Conceptual understanding Attitudes, motivation& behaviour The problem of ICT research „Persistent discrepancy between the questions asked of [ICT] evaluation studies & the conclusions they come to.‟ Laurillard (1993) Difficult in separating impact from context Joy and Garcia (2000) Attainment “It is understandable that those responsible for extensive investment should seek to establish measurable outcomes” “Empirical evidence of the role of ICT in educational attainment has been the Holy Grail for some researchers and many policy makers for many years” Cox et al. (2004) The ImpacT studies Large-scale UK studies of ICT in schools 1st ImpacT study (1993) (Watson, Cox et al, 1993) ImpaCT2 (2002-4) 3 ‘Strands Strand 1: (Harrison, Comber et al): Attainment Strand 2: (Somekh, Lewin et al): Home use Strand 3: (Comber, Lawson et al): Classroom use ImpacT (Watson, 1993) Reasoning tests (High exposure/Low exposure grps) Age Maths Science English 8-10 Positive Negative Positive* (favoured Hi-IT) (favr‟d Lo-IT) (favr‟d Hi-IT) 12-14 Inconclusive Inconclusive Inconclusive 14-16 V. positive Inconclusive Not included (favoured Hi-IT) ImpacT: ‘Mini’ studies 8 purpose-designed learning tasks Attainment gains for pupils with high exposure to IT in 4 of the 8 activities : A LOGO task in maths A database task in science A database task in geography Wordprocessing tasks in English ImpacT Conclusion: A „minimum threshold‟ of IT access needed to be reached before learning gains became apparent but Strongly dependent on classroom organisation and teaching style. Becta (2000a, 2000b) based on Ofsted reports Consistent trend for pupils in schools judged as having better ICT resources to achieve higher grades for Eng, maths and science But did not demonstrate a causal relationship So..there is a need to „specify the necessary and sufficient conditions which produce enhancement‟ and to be able to measure each of those variables Higgins (2003) Meta-analyses/systematic reviews Fletcher-Flyn & Gravatt (1995): Meta-analysis of 400 studies of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) 1987-92 [US] some improvement over time but v. small mean effect size Weaver (2000) [US] found only weak correlation between ICT & attainment Both suggested that ICT played a very small part in improving performance. Andrews et al (2006) Systematic review [UK] Reviewed literature of impact of ICT on English(5- 16) “Our answer to the research question that we set ourselves – „What is the evidence for the effectiveness of different ICTs in the teaching and learning of English ….‟ has to be „Not much‟ ” “However, this conclusion is based as much on the dearth of good evidence [i.e. good research] as it is on the weight of the evidence in the articles reviewed” Goldberg, A. et al. (2003) Systematic review [US] Similar review to Andrews et al : Impact of ICT on English (K-12) but… “the writing process is more collaborative, iterative, and social in computer classrooms as compared with paper-and-pencil environments” “the results … suggest that… students who use computers .. are not only more engaged and motivated in their writing, but they produce written work that is of greater length and higher quality” Moseley et al (1999) [UK] ICT & Literacy & Numeracy in primary schools Again found weak correlation but did not claim causal link - instead argued that: More effective teachers/schools tend to use more innovative approaches generally. Thus it is more about how ICT is used rather than if it is or the level of ICT resources. Contextual factors 1. Types of software a. Behaviourist/operant conditioning: E.g.„Drill & practice‟ s/w; Integrated learning systems (ILS) o repetition o positive reinforcement o small incremental steps for progression o feedback/revision „loop‟ Series of ILS evaluations (Wood, 1996) General conclusion: little evidence that ILS systematically raised attainment Over-reliance for revision could be damaging Aberdeen report (2003) „too early to tell‟ Software contd b. constructivist LOGO: simple programming language (Papert 1990) Classic constructivist environment „To fail [and resolve] is to learn‟ Several studies have shown link between LOGO use and learning of maths concepts, e.g. Hoyles et al. (1991) Hoyles and Noss (1992) Johnson-Gentile et al. (1994) Yusuf (1994) Software contd c. social constructivist Collaborative learning supported by ICT (i) Collaborating around computers Constructing knowledge through peer interaction “Computers do not judge and are endlessly patient and yet they can stimulate learners and serve as a focus for their talk”(Wegerif, 2004) Can promote thinking and reasoning skills as well as social interaction & improved confidence etc. (Subhi, 1999) Task needs to be structured to ensure collaboration takes place, all have a role etc. (Crook, 1994; Littleton and Light, 1999; Scardamalia et al., 1992; Wegerif and Scrimshaw, 1997) „Exploratory talk‟ (Mercer et al, 1999) „Ground rules‟ Talk and listening is inclusive. Talk and listening is respectful of opinions and ideas. All information is shared. Reasons are asked for, and given. The group seeks to reach agreement. Wegerif & Dawes (2004) Thinking and learning with ICT: raising achievement in primary classrooms www.thinkingtogether.org.uk (ii) Collaborating through computers Salovaara, H. (2005) students‟ use of cognitive learning strategies in inquiry-based computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) – quasi-exptl study (high school) – 4 half-term projects („Racism‟, Science Fiction‟ etc) – autonomous learning, social-constructivist lesson design Intervention grp: significantly more monitoring; representing knowledge; sharing information; seeking information Control grp: significantly more memorisation; content evaluation Contextual factors 2. Motivation & self-esteem ICT has beneficial motivational influence on students‟ learning (Cox 1997) improved confidence, motivation and self-esteem particularly for disaffected students & SEN (Duckworth 2001; Passey 2000; Harris and Kington 2002) correctly spelt, neatly presented work motivated students who find difficulty with handwriting (Wishart and Blease 1999) learning in a technology-enhanced setting more stimulating and student-centred than traditional classroom (Pedretti and Mayer- Smith 1998). Source: Becta (2003) ImpaCT2 (2002-04) Biggest UK study since 1993 ImpacT research Strand 1 (Harrison, Comber et al) focussed on ICT & attainment Relationship between frequency of use and performance ImpaCT2 Strand 1: Key findings Eng maths sci MFL Geog KS2 √* √ - n/a n/a 0.16 0.06 KS3 - √ √* - - 0.08 0.21 KS4 - - √* √ √ 0.41 0.82 0.37 ImpaCT2: Strand 3 Comber, Lawson et al (2003) Intensive Case studies of 16 schools Key findings re learning: “The impact of ICT on attitudes & behaviour, potential to aid understanding of processes & to enable more autonomous modes of learning, as well as its capacity for information gathering, data manipulation and communication with others, were among a broad range of factors which teachers perceived as likely to have an impact on pupil achievement” ImpaCT2: Strand 3 contd. Some of the best examples of the use of ICT were observed where: clearly articulated learning objective lesson moved through different modes of teacher/pupil interaction involved both in a variety of roles appropriate choice and use of ICT Strand 3 contd Least effective where: „bolted on‟ to existing practice technology drives the pedagogy ICT skills dominate learning with ICT used as „behaviour control‟ inappropriate choice/use of s/w Conclusion ICT is highly motivating for many students, but on its own it can rarely improve attainment, understanding or cognitive ability. The role of the teacher is critical: planning the learning task, identifying appropriate ICT resources, using that ICT in appropriate ways to support learning, scaffolding the task. “Whatever the suggested benefits of a particular type of software (or hardware), it is when the teacher assists and guides the child's learning that these benefits are fully realised” (Mercer and Fisher, 1997) Whenever a new technology comes along, someone, somewhere, will claim that it will „revolutionise‟ education. It never has, and by itself, never will. But by embracing it, exploring its potential, experimenting with innovative ways, while at the same time retaining the essential elements of good pedagogy - teachers can, and probably will - use technology to transform what it means to be educated.
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