Studies and research on the impact of ICT in education

There are two problems in obtaining evidence of the impact of ICT in education:

- ICT never acts in isolation to improve learning and teaching so it is impossible to separate the ICT impact from the other changes made in concert with adoption of ICT.

- There are so many diverse ways of using ICT to improve learning, teaching and school organisation, and so much evidence has accrued over the years, that is extremely difficult to find the evidence that parallels the approaches you or your school wish to adopt.

What will progressively appear on these pages is a selection of the evidence I have found most practically useful to schools and teachers, with commentary as to why I think these references are significant.

ICT in education in countries. Evidence of the impact of ICT in education in different countries. The really important impact of ICT is that people change their approach to teaching, learning and the nature of schools. When you see people doing things differently and better and when they have abandoned their previous less effective approaches, then you there is impact worth looking at.

Learning platforms. A school’s learning platform is whatever collection of online systems it wishes to use. The trend is towards having a portal, platform or website (whatever you wish to call it) that gives coherent access to the various systems the school wants teachers, pupils, parents and governors to give attention to. For mature learners who can organise their own online learning environment (inc. some children, and not that many adults) their learning platform is the Internet. For immature learners and those not yet fully competent as independent learners, some degree of scaffolding and guidance is helpful, hence the need for a coherent platform. The platform also has an important role in transmitting the culture of the learning organisation (i.e. school) and in underpinning it’s organisation and administration, and this too needs a platform the school can control and design, rather than just a desktop full of links to online systems. Mature learners will use the school’s platform as one of the systems they used, complemented by many systems they find themselves and choose to use.

ICT in subjects. The school’s learning platform is the first requirement for effective use of ICT to support and develop subject teaching and learning, as this underpins access to online resources and tools in class, out of class, and from home. Different subject areas then have different requirements and approaches, and different reasons why the use of ICT in education is essential and is an entitlement that all pupils and teachers should demand.

ICT competencies changing education. Or more precisely, the developing ICT competencies of pupils and teachers that education should be changing to respond to.