Educational technology companies – and some schools – ascribe benefits to technology not supported by research

The New York Times reports:

Amid a classroom-based software boom estimated at $2.2 billion a year, debate continues to rage over the effectiveness of technology on learning and how best to measure it. But it is hard to tell that from technology companies’ promotional materials.

Many companies ignore well-regarded independent studies that test their products’ effectiveness… Some firms misrepresent research by cherry-picking results and promote surveys or limited case studies that lack the scientific rigor required by the [U.S. Department of Education] and other authorities…

School officials, confronted with a morass of complicated and sometimes conflicting research, often buy products based on personal impressions, marketing hype or faith in technology for its own sake.

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