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Pennsylvania eSPARC – TAPP Overview

In 2003, ED awarded $15 million in multi-year, 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. Final reports were published in 2007.

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.

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