Are you considering upgrading educational software in your building? Before you do, consider the Department of Education’s recently released report on the impact of educational technology on student learning. The study was mandated by NCLB and concentrated on first-, fourth-, and sixth-grade math and reading classes.  It found that classes using selected software did not score significantly higher on texts than classes that did not use the software. “Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings from the First Student Cohort,” is the first of two reports from the study—the second report will focus on the effectiveness of individual products. A research report in NAESP’s Principal also investigated the link between technology and student achievement.

re: Report Released on the Value of Educational Software

I hope people read this study carefully. Only one kind of software was tested and found ineffective. All the software products in this study were those promising to raise standardized test scores.

These products should not be confused with effective open-ended tools or software that allows students to explore concepts and learn higher-order thinking skills.