It is generally believed that ICTs can empower teachers and learners, promote change and foster the development of ‘21st century skills, but data to support these beliefs are still limited There is widespread belief that ICTs can and will empower teachers and learners, transforming teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher-dominated to student-centered, and that this transformation will result in increased learning gains for students, creating and allowing for opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher-order thinking skills. However, there are currently very limited, unequivocally compelling data to support this belief. 2.
ICTs are very rarely seen as central to the overall learning process Even in the most advanced schools in OECD countries, ICTs are generally not considered central to the teaching and learning process. Many ICT in education initiatives in LDCs seek (at least in their rhetoric) to place ICTs as central to teaching and learning. 3.
An enduring problem: putting technology before education
One of the enduring difficulties of technology use in education is that educational planners and technology advocates think of the technology first and then investigate the educational applications of this technology only later. Impact on student achievement
The positive impact of ICT use in education has not been proven In general, and despite thousands of impact studies, the impact of ICT use on student achievement remains difficult to measure and open to much reasonable debate. 2.
Positive impact more likely when linked to pedagogy It is believed that specific uses of ICT can have positive effects on student achievement when ICTs are used appropriately to complement a teacher’s existing pedagogical philosophies. 3.
‘Computer Aided Instruction’ has been seen to slightly improve student performance on multiple choice, standardized testing in some areas Computer Aided (or Assisted) Instruction (CAI), which refers generally to student self-study or tutorials on PCs, has been shown to slightly improve student test scores on some reading and math skills, although whether such improvement correlates to real improvement in student learning is debatable. 4.
Need for clear goals
ICTs are seen to be less effective (or ineffective) when the goals for their use are not clear. While such a statement would appear to be self-evident, the specific goals for ICT use in education are, in practice, are often only very broadly or rather loosely defined. 5.
There is an important tension between traditional versus 'new' pedagogies and standardized testing Traditional, transmission-type pedagogies are seen as more effective in preparation for standardized testing, which tends to measure the results of such teaching practices, than are more ‘constructivist’ pedagogical styles. 6.
Mismatch between methods used to measure effects and type of learning promoted In many studies there may be a mismatch between the methods used to measure effects and the nature of the learning promoted by the specific uses of ICT. For example, some studies have looked only for improvements in traditional teaching and learning processes and knowledge mastery instead of looking for new processes and knowledge relatd to the use of ICTs. It may be that more useful analyses of the impact of ICT can only emerge when the methods used to measure achievement and outcomes are more closely related to the learning activities and processes promoted by the use of ICTs. 7.
ICTs are used differently in different school subjects
Uses of ICTs for simulations and modeling in science and math have been shown to be effective, as have word processing and communication software (e-mail) in the development of student language and communication skills. 8.
Access outside of school affects impact
The relationships between in-class student...
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