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					            PS3014
      ICT & Education
The impact of ICT on Learning

                     Chris Comber

                     cjfc1@le.ac.uk
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.