A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) finds that done right, technology can aid student achievement and boost engagement. Rather than replace teachers, proper implementation involves pairing technology with teachers who provide in-class support, particularly benefiting at-risk students.
Linda Darling-Hammond, the faculty director of SCOPE, says that when affluent and low-income students have the same access, substantial gains in learning and technological readiness can be achieved. “Unfortunately, applications of technology in schools serving the most disadvantaged students are frequently compromised by the same disparities in dollars, teachers, and instructional services that typically plague these schools. These disparities are compounded by the lack of access to technology in these students’ homes,” says Darling-Hammond.
Recommendations for proper implementation include having technology policies that aim to provide one-to-one computer access, ensure speedy Internet connections, and blend teacher support and student interactions. It also recommends that teachers be adequately trained on how to use the technology by means of professional learning opportunities.