SETDA Releases Significant Findings on ED-Funded Ed Tech Research
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released powerful research findings from the Enhancing States Through Educational Technology (ESTEP) grant recipients. Results cover elementary and secondary schools and include important data on student achievement, teacher retention, professional development, and closing the achievement gap.
In 2003, ED awarded $15 million in 10 evaluation grants to 9 states, including Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The studies conducted scientifically-based research on how technology impacts student achievement in elementary and secondary education. For more details please visit ED's Grant Process.
Arkansas: The Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Initiative is a performance-based learning environment utilizing community service, project-based, service learning, integrated with advanced technological applications in an interdisciplinary environment. Among the 16 student outcomes that were studied, analyses indicated that participation in the EAST program appears to have a positive, statistically reliable impact on students in five major domains, including students’ problem-solving, motivation and self-directed learning.
Iowa: The Iowa Professional Development Model provides teachers with sustainable professional development through face-to-face, video conferencing and online resources. In addition, teachers were provided with technology-based curriculum interventions for math and reading, coupled with assessment tools to track student progress and individualize instruction. The teachers were grouped in regional cohorts via a consortium. Researchers found student achievement gains in both and math and reading.
North Carolina: The North Carolina IMPACT model involves using technology in the teaching of core curricular areas to improve student achievement, utilizing technology coaches and mentors for on-going professional development, as well as learning 21st Century Skills. The program was implemented in several high poverty elementary and middle schools. In the four year study, students in the high need schools that received the IMPACT program have demonstrated that they are 33% more likely to improve one full grade level each year than the control/comparison schools. Student achievement is consistently higher in the IMPACT schools, and teacher retention is 65% higher with this program. College-going rates in Greene County High School, with a modified IMPACT model, increased from 26 to 84% in five years.
Pennsylvania: The evaluation of Student and Parent Access to Refurbished Computers (SPARC) was an experimental study designed to assess the impact of providing refurbished home computers, Internet access, and technology-related technical assistance to fifth grade students. The treatment group households received a donated refurbished computer with Internet access. Impact data found that treatment students were more likely than their control counterparts to report using computers for recreational and school-related purposes. They were also more likely to report stronger computer skills than control students. SPARC intervention resulted in greater parental involvement for specific interactions that required computer and/or Internet use.
Tennessee: The Tennessee EdTech Launch (TnETL) program provided full-time, on-site technology coaches to prepare teachers to create and implement lessons that engage students in critical thinking and to promote the use of computers as tools in order to increase learning. The TnETL program demonstrated progress in changing school culture to benefit students through the use of technology.
Texas: the Technology Immersion Pilot (TIP), is a one to one initiative supported by extensive on-going professional development for teachers and administrators. Miiddle schools implementing the program demonstrated that discipline referrals went down by over ½ with the changes in teaching and learning; while in one school, 6th grade standardized math scores increased by 5%, 7th grade by 42%, and 8th grade by 24%.
WV EdPace: In West Virginia, EdPace provided students with an online course for second language instruction. This online course was managed by a certified instructor and on-site support staff. Students receiving access to on-line foreign language courses performed at least as well as those in face-to-face versions of the classes, providing comparable high quality instruction for those in rural areas who otherwise would not have access to such course.
West Virginia: The West Virginia Department of Education established the Technology Model School (TMS) initiative which is designed so that all teachers and administrators will be proficient in the implementation, use, and integration of technology. The program's focus is on having a Technology Integration Specialist (TIS) in a school(s) who will provide and/or coordinate appropriate professional development activities for all teachers and administrators.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin took part in the “Wisconsin Proposal to Study the Effectiveness of Two Models of Implementing Educational Technology” in order to evaluate the impact of using technology within two constructivist models when implemented by teachers teaching seventh and eighth grade science and social studies. The study found that, in general, the teachers indicated moderate levels of computer and technology use with some significant differences over time and between the control and experimental groups.
Additional ESTEP Grantee:
Maine: The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) equipped all of Maine’s middle school students and teachers with a personal learning device. An examination of scores from the writing proficiency portion of the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) from the years prior to the implementation of the MLTI to the most recent available data shows a marked increase in student writing scores. Prior to MLTI (2000), 29.1% of 8th grade students met the State's writing proficiency standard. In 2005, after the 4 full years of implementation of the MLTI, 41.4% of 8th graders met the State's writing proficiency standard.