Education Week’s Technology Counts 2007 is now up (no registration required). EdWeek finds schools have closed the digital divide for the most part, though low-income students are much less likely to use computers at home.
Digital cameras and videorecorders, coupled with photo-sharing and moviemaking software, are putting new, easier-to-use means of expression into studentsâ€™ and educatorsâ€™ hands.
Interactive software applications such as blogs, podcasts, and social-networking sites are letting students and teachers easily post their own writings and multimedia presentations on the Web. Digital whiteboards and liquid-crystal-display projectors are giving some classrooms a high-tech feel once reserved for corporate boardrooms.
Virtual education, in its infancy a decade ago, is going mainstream. Hundreds of thousands of students go online for some or all of their coursesâ€”a trend that is opening up opportunities, such as Advanced Placement classes, that would otherwise be unavailable. Teachers, for their part, are turning to the Web for professional development.
From Connectivity to Creativity
In addition, students are more likely to take tests on computers and teachers are using technology to gather and analyze data.
Are students learning more because of technology? Not clear says the report. Research has focused mostly on innovative uses of technology with few scientifically valid studies focused on whether students are learning more.
Several recent research reviews and meta-analyses published in the United States and in Britain suggest that, when measured across the board, educational technology yields â€œsmall, but significantâ€ gains in learning and in student engagement. The problem is that those modest gains fell short of advocatesâ€™ promises.
Most of the giddiness of the hook ’em up era is gone now. Federal funding for unproven technology is drying up. Education technology will have to compete with other school needs.
Technology Counts includes state technology reports.