As an educator when I think of data I think of assessments: formative, summative, state standardized. In many instances I use data to drive my instruction. I look at test scores to help me decide if my student’s are mastering content in the classroom. Technology can be used to help collect data. As an educator I have used Accelerated Reader to collect data on student’s reading levels, AIMSWeb to collect data on reading fluency. I have also used apps like Socrative to collect data about content in class or to poll my students. As stated by Fleisher (2014), “every answer on a quiz can be analyzed to give teachers a precise picture of what their students have learned. A pattern of wrong answers is no longer just a bad grade; teachers can get clues to why students picked the wrong answer.”
Technology can have a positive or negative impact. I have witnessed technology having a positive impact on my students, however I’ve never really thought about the data behind it. Sandholtz (1997) states, “studies have shown that students with routine access to technology learn these basic skills faster and better when they have a chance to practice them using technology. One of the reasons cited for this improvement is that students are engaged by the technology.” Early on in my teaching career I figured out when I used technology in my classroom my students behaved better and were more engaged in my lessons. When I would use a Smartboard during my lessons my student engagement increased. When I allowed students to create digital stories after going through the writing process with paper and pencil, I heard less complaining about having to rewrite and edit work, because my students wanted to use the technology to create digital stories. I know technology motivates students, but I have never thought about how I could collect the data to prove how much technology motivates students. According to O’Hara (2014), technology positively impacts reading comprehension, content learning, test scores, and student self-esteem.
With the shift to computerized standardized based testing, more educators may want to start analyzing the correlation between the impact of technology and students test scores.
Fleisher, L (2014, March 23). Big data enters the classroom. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304756104579451241225610478
O’Hara, S. (2014, April 30). What is the impact of technology on learning? Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/what-impact-technology-learning/?page=2
Sandholtz, J. H. (1997). Teaching with technology: Creating student-centered classrooms. Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027.