The impact of educational technology on reading achievement

The December issue of Educational Research Review includes a research review looking at how features of educational technology applications affect student reading outcomes. The review, completed by the Center for Research and Reform in Education, applied consistent inclusion criteria to focus on studies that met high methodological standards. A total of 84 qualifying studies based on over 60,000 primary and secondary pupils were included.

Consistent with previous reviews with a similar focus, the findings suggest that education technology generally produced a positive, though small, effect (ES=+0.16) in comparison with traditional methods.

However, the effects may vary by education technology type. In particular, the types of supplementary computer-assisted instruction programmes that have dominated the classroom use of education technology in the past few decades are not producing educationally meaningful effects in reading for pupils. In contrast, innovative technology applications and integrated literacy interventions with the support of extensive professional development showed somewhat promising evidence.

Source: How features of educational technology applications affect student reading outcomes: A meta-analysis (2012), Educational Research Review, 7(3)