A Framework for Research on Education with Technology

Billions of dollars are spent each year on technology for education, but those selling these products often cannot show definitive evidence that their products improve student outcomes. Daniel Wright, Senior Research Scientist at Alder, describes a framework for research in education with technology that would allow the accumulation of evidence either for or against the efficacy of different systems. He also describes the types of questions those selling these products should be able to answer. The paper was published in Frontiers in Education and is freely available here.

Educational software offers the potential for greatly enhanced student learning. The current availability and political will for trying new approaches means that there is currently much interest in and expenditure on technology for education. After reviewing some of the relevant issues, a framework that builds upon Marr and Poggio’s (1977) levels of explanation is presented. The research itself should draw upon existing cognitive, educational, and social research; much existing research is applicable. Guidelines for those conducting research and those wishing to acquire technology are presented.