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The Use and Misuse of Computers in Education

The Use and Misuse of Computers in Education

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Published by: Evelyn Castle on Nov 02, 2010
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The Use and Misuse of Computersin Education
Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia
Felipe Barrera-OsorioLeigh L. Linden
The World Bank Human Development Network Education TeamFebruary 2009
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Produced by the Research Support Team
 Abstract 
The Impact Evaluation Series has been established in recognition o the importance o impact evaluation studies or World Bank operations and or development in general. The series serves as a vehicle or the dissemination o fndings o those studies. Papers in this series are part o the Bank’s Policy Research Working Paper Series. The papers carry the names o the authors and should be cited accordingly. The fndings,interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those o the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views o the International Bank or Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its afliated organizations, or those o the Executive Directors o  the World Bank or the governments they represent.
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This paper presents the evaluation of the programComputers for Education. The program aims tointegrate computers, donated by the private sector,into the teaching of language in public schools. Theauthors conduct a two-year randomized evaluation of the program using a sample of 97 schools and 5,201children. Overall, the program seems to have had littleeffect on students’ test scores and other outcomes. Theseresults are consistent across grade levels, subjects, andThis paper—a product of the Education Team, Human Development Network—is part of a larger effort the network toestimate the impact of Information and Communication Technologies on education. Policy Research Working Papers arealso posted on the Web at http://econ.worldbank.org. The author may be contacted at fbarrera@worldbank.org.gender. The main reason for these results seems to be thefailure to incorporate the computers into the educationalprocess. Although the program increased the number of computers in the treatment schools and provided trainingto the teachers on how to use the computers in theirclassrooms, surveys of both teachers and students suggestthat teachers did not incorporate the computers into theircurriculum.
 
 
The use and misuse of computers in education:Evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia
1
Felipe Barrera-Osorio
(World Bank)
Leigh L. Linden
(Columbia University)
 
JEL: C93, I21, I28Keywords: education, computer programs, randomization
 
1
We are grateful to the program Computers for Education, and the Ministry of Communication, forfinancial support. We thank past and current staff members of the program for their unconditionalcommitment to the evaluation, particularly María Isabel Mejía Jaramillo, Beatriz Eugenia Córdoba,Francisco Camargo, Martha Patricia Castellanos and Julián Gómez. Fedesarrollo provided personnel andfinancial help. We are especially grateful to Mauricio Olivera. Camilo Dominguez and Monica Hernandezprovided outstanding research assistance. Funding from the Knowledge for Change Program at the WorldBank, research grant RF-P101262-TF090460, helped in the final stages of the evaluation. The opinionsexpressed in this document do not necessarily represent the views of the World Bank.Barrera-Osorio:fbarrera@worldbank.org; Linden:leigh.linden@columbia.edu.

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