Well integrated technology makes a dramatic difference

A new study by Dr Jenny Poskitt, senior lecturer in education at Massey University New Zealand, found students in years 5-6 made significant gains when technology was introduced to the classroom.

The study compared classes of children, one with digital devices and the other technology-free, and tested literacy comprehension at the beginning and end of term.

“Essentially it’s about teachers who understand how technology might be used.”

“In the Year 4 classes the results were very similar, so it didn’t matter whether there was technology or not, they made similar gains,” said study author Dr Jenny Poskitt.

However, the study found significant gains from technology as children got older.

“In the Year 5-6 classes, the technology class made three and four times the gains, so they were significantly better than the non-technology,” said Dr Poskitt.

Dr Poskitt said her study suggested well-integrated technology could make a difference for children.

“But it does not substitute for effective teaching … Essentially it’s about teachers who understand how technology might be used, who link it into what they’re learning. The ones that were really effective were very targeted in what they used and why they used it.”

The study, authored by Dr Jenny Poskitt, who also conducted research for KIWA’s SLAM program, will be published in the next edition of the Australian Journal of Middle Schooling.