Alan C. K. Cheung, Robert E. Slavin (2011) The Effectiveness of Education Technology for Enhancing Reading Achievement: A Meta-Analysis, The Best Evidence Encyclopedia, Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE)
The present review examines research on the effects of technology use on reading achievement in K-12 classrooms. Unlike previous reviews, this review applies consistent inclusion standards to focus on studies that met high methodological standards. In addition, methodological and substantive features of the studies are investigated to examine the relationship between education technology and study features. A total of 85 qualified studies based on over 60,000 K-12 participants were included in the final analysis. Consistent with previous reviews of similar focus, the findings suggest that education technology generally produced a positive, though small, effect (ES=+0.16) in comparison to traditional methods. However, the effects may vary by education technology type. In particular, the types of supplementary computer-assisted instruction programs that have dominated the classroom use of education technology in the past few decades are not producing educationally meaningful effects in reading for K-12 students. In contrast, innovative technology applications and integrated literacy interventions with the support of extensive professional development showed somewhat promising evidence. However, too few randomized studies for these promising approaches are available at this point for firm conclusions.
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