Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Badasyan, Narine and Silva, Simone, (2012) The Impact of Internet Access at Home and/or School on Students’ Academic Performance in Brazil, Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2133609

This paper uses propensity scores matching techniques to examine the impact of Internet on 8th grade students’ academic achievement, as measured by their test scores in Portuguese and mathematics, for years 2007 and 2009. In both years, the results suggest that Internet access at home has a considerable positive impact on test scores of 8th graders in both mathematics and Portuguese. These paper’s findings have interesting implications from a policy perspective. In the past decade policymakers in many countries, including Brazil, have allocated substantial funds to increase Internet access at schools. Previous research suggest that the efforts to increase Internet access at schools can result in much higher magnitude of improvement of students’ academic performance if they are combined with policy initiatives to increase home Internet access. This paper provides further evidence to this view and argues that school internet access should be combined with policies to increase the instructors’ awareness of the importance of internet as a pedagogical tool.

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