The right technology can help at-risk pupils

A new report published by the US Alliance for Excellent Education finds that technology – when implemented properly – can produce significant gains in pupil achievement and boost engagement, particularly among those who are at-risk.

The authors reviewed more than 70 recent studies of technology initiatives aimed at improving learning or closing the achievement gap. They sought to identify patterns of effective use, taking into account context, access and infrastructure, and learning outcomes.

The report identified three important factors for successfully using technology with at-risk pupils:

  • Interactive learning;
  • Using technology to explore and create, rather than to “drill”; and
  • Using the right blend of teachers and technology.

The conclusion is that the right kind of technology interventions can have a positive impact. However, this should rest on adequate supports for teacher learning about how to use the technologies and pedagogies.

Source: Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning (2014), Alliance for Excellent Education.

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