Edtech On Its Own Doesn’t Improve Instruction
“The introduction of high-tech teaching aids in the classroom often comes with great hopes for enhanced learning. Yet new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that new technologies do not necessarily improve student learning. Göran Karlsson examined how instructional technologies—virtual learning environments such as 3D animations and model simulations—affect the way secondary school students reason about and understand scientific phenomena and concepts.
Karlsson’s research shows that there is no evidence that instructional technologies, in and of themselves, can improve students’ understanding of a scientific concept. On the contrary, according to the study, there is a risk that the students—if they are left alone to make their interpretations —may not reach their learning targets.
‘When students interpret the instructional technologies, they tend to draw very diverse conclusions depending on how the task is formulated, the support from their teacher, the structure of the model, the school’s culture and language usage—all these factors affect how the students approach the task at hand,’ says Karlsson. Read more here.
This is so important to remember: it’s not the technologies in themselves that will improve education, but the care and thoughtfulness with which they’re implemented.