Changing How and What Children Learn in School with

Computer-Based Technologies
Jeremy Roschelle, Roy D. Pea, Christopher M. Hoadley, Douglas N. Gordin,
Barbara Means

To cite this version:
Jeremy Roschelle, Roy D. Pea, Christopher M. Hoadley, Douglas N. Gordin, Barbara Means.
Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies. The
Future of Children, 2001, 10(2), pp.76-101. <hal-00190610>

HAL Id: hal-00190610
Submitted on 23 Nov 2007

HAL is a multi-disciplinary open access L’archive ouverte pluridisciplinaire HAL, est
archive for the deposit and dissemination of sci- destinée au dépôt et à la diffusion de documents
entific research documents, whether they are pub- scientifiques de niveau recherche, publiés ou non,
lished or not. The documents may come from émanant des établissements d’enseignement et de
teaching and research institutions in France or recherche français ou étrangers, des laboratoires
abroad, or from public or private research centers. publics ou privés.


Changing How and What
Children Learn in School
Jeremy M. Roschelle,
with Computer-Based
Ph.D., is a senior cogni-
tive scientist at the
Center for Technology in Technologies
Learning at SRI
International, an inde-
pendent research orga- Jeremy M. Roschelle, Roy D. Pea, Christopher M. Hoadley,
nization in Menlo Douglas N. Gordin, Barbara M. Means
Park, CA.
Roy D. Pea, D.Phil.,
Oxon., is director of the Abstract
Center for Technology Schools today face ever-increasing demands in their attempts to ensure that students
in Learning at SRI are well equipped to enter the workforce and navigate a complex world. Research indi-
International, an inde- cates that computer technology can help support learning, and that it is especially
pendent research organi- useful in developing the higher-order skills of critical thinking, analysis, and scientific
zation in Menlo Park, inquiry. But the mere presence of computers in the classroom does not ensure their
CA; and consulting pro- effective use. Some computer applications have been shown to be more successful
fessor at the School of than others, and many factors influence how well even the most promising applica-
Education at Stanford tions are implemented.
This article explores the various ways computer technology can be used to improve
Christopher M. Hoadley, how and what children learn in the classroom. Several examples of computer-based
Ph.D., is a research and applications are highlighted to illustrate ways technology can enhance how children
computer scientist at the learn by supporting four fundamental characteristics of learning: (1) active engage-
Center for Technology ment, (2) participation in groups, (3) frequent interaction and feedback, and (4) con-
in Learning at SRI nections to real-world contexts. Additional examples illustrate ways technology can
International, an inde- expand what children learn by helping them to understand core concepts in subjects
pendent research orga- like math, science, and literacy. Research indicates, however, that the use of technol-
nization in Menlo ogy as an effective learning tool is more likely to take place when embedded in a
Park, CA. broader education reform movement that includes improvements in teacher training,
Douglas N. Gordin, curriculum, student assessment, and a school’s capacity for change. To help inform
Ph.D., is a research decisions about the future role of computers in the classroom, the authors conclude
staff member at IBM’s that further research is needed to identify the uses that most effectively support learn-
T.J. Watson Research ing and the conditions required for successful implementation.
Center, Applied Learning
Services Department
in Yorktown, NY.

teacher from the late nineteenth century entering a typical class-
Barbara M. Means, room today would find most things quite familiar: chalk and talk, as
Ph.D., is codirector well as desks and texts, predominate now as they did then. Yet this
of the Center for
Technology in Learning nineteenth-century teacher would be shocked by the demands of today’s
at SRI International, curricula. For example, just a century ago, little more was expected of high
an independent research
organization in Menlo
Park, CA. The Future of Children CHILDREN AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY Vol. 10 • No. 2 – Fall/Winter 2000

The first section highlights a number of computer-based technology applications shown to be effective in improving how and what children learn. although the classroom tools of blackboards and books that shape how learning takes place have changed little over the past century. Nevertheless. marginal effects on how and what children learn in school. including radio. and safety. have had only isolated. all high school stu- dents are expected to be able to read and understand unfamiliar text2 and to become competent in the processes of scientific inquiry and mathemat- ics problem solving. student assessment. several billion dollars in public and private funds have been dedicated to equipping schools with computers and connections to the Internet.futureofchildren. policymakers. and there are promises of even more funds dedicated to this purpose in the future. The role that technology could or should play within this reform movement has yet to be defined. Of course. and solve basic arithmetic problems. despite early champions of their revolutionary educational potential. administration. There is consensus among education policy analysts that satisfying these demands will require rethinking how educators support learning.3 This trend of rising expectations is accelerating because of the explosion of knowledge now available to the public and the growing demands of the workplace.) Similarly.4 More and more stu- dents will have to learn to navigate through large amounts of information and to master calculus and other complicated subjects to participate fully in an increasingly technological society. and video.1 Today. although computer technology is a pervasive and powerful force in society today with many proponents of its educational benefits. societal demands on what students learn have increased dramatically.8 (See Appendix A in this journal issue for more information on sources of funding. it is also expensive and potentially disruptive or misguided in some of its uses and in the end may have only marginal effects.7 (See the article by Wartella and Jennings in this journal issue. parents. and educators need to be able to determine how technology can be used most effectively to improve student learning. recount simple scientific facts. just because computer technology can lead to improvements in learning does not mean that it will do so simply . buildings.6 Debate now focuses on identifying and implementing the most appropriate and highest priority reforms in the areas of curricula. including school students than to recite famous texts. teacher training. Innovations in media technology. Only 3. 77 http://www. television.5% of students were expected to learn algebra before completing high school.) As ever- increasing resources are committed to bringing computers into the class- room.5 Thus.9 This article explores the characteristics of computer technology and its potential to enhance learning. film.

First. so the failure to produce uni. applications in the and teacher professional development. the strong- from these and several other major studies est evidence showing positive gains in learn- on the effects of technology use in kinder. This evi- Three key reasons contribute to these dence generally applies to both boys and mixed results. suc. whereas applications that in terms of the growing expectations in attempted to make repetitive skill practice mathematics instruction. and other aspects of school structure.12 More specifically. subjects are considered. studies conducted to improving learning. dents at various achievement levels. are separated because not only can technol- puter-based applications that encouraged ogy help children learn things better. in one date suggest that certain computer-based of the few large-scale studies conducted applications can enhance learning for stu- nationwide. The research studies of computer-based instruc. Framed increased learning. ing tends to focus on applications in science garten through 12th-grade classrooms. and there is even equally strong for the lower elementary greater variation in the ways schools use grades and across other curriculum areas or technology.10.) and mathematics for upper elementary. Studies overwhelmingly suggest that computer-based technology is only one element in what must be a coordinated approach to improving curriculum. Therefore. And third. hardware and software girls.11 For example. were found to have tage of technology. it also students to reason deeply about mathematics can help them learn better things. other uses of that is unreachable for most students with- the computer. as a Learning Tool Studies conducted on the effectiveness of Although today’s research can support technology in the classroom often have only limited conclusions about the overall mixed results. The “how” and the “what” proved less effective. the second section of this article discusses the changes in organizational struc- tures and supports that should be considered when schools are planning a strategy for incorporating technology.13 (See Table 1 at the end of this article for a summary of findings Based on the research to date. Future research may find gains that are vary among schools. however. In con. that are gender or age specific. only minimal effects. The discus- form results is not surprising. teacher development. com. middle. a meta-analysis of more than 500 already expected to learn algebra. This article concludes with a brief dis- cussion of a framework to guide future research efforts. use of technology alone. The fol- cational technology were found to increase lowing sections highlight several promising fourth. assessment. applications for improving how and what matical understanding. and high school students. such as simulations and out a revitalized curriculum that takes advan- enrichment applications. rigor- ously structured longitudinal studies that Enhancing How Children Learn document the isolated effects of technology A major scientific accomplishment of the http://www. sion below reflects the limitations of the cessful use of technology is always research to date.futureofchildren. some approaches to using edu. learning of the 70% to 100% of students trast. Second. “what” addresses the problem of making it tion found positive effects on student possible for the vast majority of students to achievement tests resulted primarily from go beyond algebra to learn calculus—a topic computer tutoring applications. making it difficult to general. and although accompanied by concurrent reforms in promising applications across a variety of other areas such as curriculum.78 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 because technology is infused into the classroom. so areas of science and mathematics are most the gains in learning cannot be attributed to often highlighted. are expensive and difficult to implement. whereas others children learn. the “how” more entertaining for students actually addresses the problem of enhancing the seemed to decrease performance.and eighth-grade students’ mathe. effectiveness of technology expenditures in ize about technology’s overall impact in improving . so Effective Use of Technology few have been conducted. assessment. pedagogy.

14. scientific concepts. understanding of they often fail to develop sufficient under. top publishing and desktop video can be tion.20 For example. consider science labora- four fundamental characteristics are pre. and (4) connections to real. and structured interactions ing day. to how children learn. The structure and resources of traditional tively—can enable ways of teaching that are much better matched to how children classrooms often provide quite poor support learn. whereas technology—when specific computer-based technologies used effectively—can enable ways of that have been shown to support each of the four fundamental characteristics of teaching that are much better matched learning.17 Today’s theories of learn. of 125 seventh and eighth graders found rooms.19 understanding and knowledge of various http://www. analyzing informa. Learning Through Active Engagement Learning research has shown that students Students no longer have to go home to labo- learn best by actively “constructing” knowl. bring the graphs back to school the follow- interpretation. yet nearly two decades of research and feedback. perceiving. and motivation when standing to apply what they have learned to using the software. experience with MBL was found to ing approaches. com. As illustrated by the description of an MBL tions are not coincidental. Students certainly can sent: (1) active engagement. they their data. Interestingly.22 cians and experts that to enhance learning. Instead. In fairly are placed in the relatively passive role of widely replicated studies. actively engage in experiments without com- tion in groups. the mental processes of without computers. cognitive research has particularly useful tool for this type of learn- shown that learning is most effective when ing. gies can improve learning. tory experiments. thus reducing the time between have realized that the structure and gathering data and beginning to interpret it. graph-interpretation skills. can be integrated in classrooms with or tion—that is. For example.18 but educational ability to identify some of the reasons why reformers appear to agree with the theoreti. The following discussion describes for learning. and designing solutions—skills that go used to involve students more actively in far beyond the mere recitation of correct constructing presentations that reflect their responses.16 In addition. As scientists in Box 1. produce significant gains in the students’ ing differ in some details. “Microcomputer-Based Laboratory” (MBL). to take active roles in solving problems. graphs may be inaccurate. more actively in learning is not limited to Curricular frameworks now expect students science and . students conducting experiments have understood more about the funda. whereas technology—when used effec. computer-based applications such as desk- municating effectively. more attention should be given to actively Using technology to engage students engaging children in the learning process. resources of traditional classrooms often provide quite poor support for learning. (3) frequent interaction puters. researchers have receiving information from lectures and noted significant improvements in students’ texts (the “transmission” model of learning). and remembering.15 When students see the results of their experiment. one study situations outside their texts and class. These connec.21 In another study of 249 eighth who learn best from a combination of teach. (2) participa.14 computer-based technologies make them a For example. can use computers to instantaneously graph mental characteristics of learning. some of the gains when computers are incorporated pioneers in learning research also have into labs under a design called the been pioneers in exploring how technolo. The use of methods beyond gain in the students’ ability to interpret and lectures and books can help reach children use graphs. has shown that students can make significant world contexts. children have different that use of MBL software resulted in an 81% learning styles.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 79 twentieth century has been the great Although active. riously plot points on a graph and then edge from a combination of experience.futureofchildren. graders. constructive learning advancements in understanding cogni. they instantaneously can with peers and teachers. the characteristics of thinking. For example.

do engage students individually. Although previous media technolo. inspired by the seminal research of to the creation of electronic bulletin boards the Russian psychologist Vygotsky. such as tutorials and drill-and-practice Learning Through Participation exercises. but schools. these new technologies rected.25 involving students in city high school students worked as a social intellectual activity can be a powerful “multimedia designers” to create an elec. see Web site at http://probesight. In one project. and ensure mistakes are cor- passive observers. and productive and can encourage class- sentations. member of a group.80 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 Box 1 A Microcomputer-Based Laboratory in Creek Biology Two sixth-grade science classes grab their palmtop computers with chemical sensors attached. and networking technologies such than they could execute alone. For more than five years.23 learning. resolve misun- gies generally placed children in the role of derstandings. symbols. Because a accessible to students. dating back learning. students can measure the creek and see the results of their data gathering while still in the field. Several computer-based applica- . allowing students to see how the graphs unfold in real time. inner.26 Some of the most prominent contexts give students the opportunity to uses of computers today are communications successfully carry out more complex skills oriented. students and teachers understanding of the In addition. pating in a community or by becoming a icant positive effects. Today. their students collected water samples and jotted down observations during the field trip. These tests took days of dripping indicator solutions into test tubes of creek water and laborious charting of the outcomes. room conversations that expand students’ sation and gestures. stu- dents are able to develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing their initial results and running follow-up experiments the same day. Much learning is about the meaning degree to which classrooms are socially active and correct use of ideas. and head out for a field trip to the local or http://www. directly related to their observations. subjects. Performing a as the Internet and digital video permit a task with others provides an opportunity not broad new range of collaborative activities in only to imitate what others are doing. teachers at this school have taken their sixth-grade science classes on this field trip. The students par- ticipating in the project showed significant Some critics feel that computer technol- gains in task engagement and self-confidence ogy encourages asocial and addictive behav- measures compared with students enrolled ior and taps very little of the social basis of in a more traditional computer class. in Groups However. social needs often drive make content construction much more a child’s reason for learning. a challenge for many students who have only recently learned how to plot points. Using technology to promote such also to discuss the task and make thinking collaborative activities can enhance the visible. can provide explicit advice. and research indicates child’s social identity is enhanced by partici- that such uses of technology can have signif. local children’s museum. then returned to the classroom to analyze the pH.concord. Through informal social conver. with the help of the palmtop computers.24 Social in the 1970s. But before the advent of palmtop computers.concord. In addition. oxygenation. Source: For more information. The immediacy of the process helps students understand what the graph’s time axis means. and other measures of the health of the creek. projects that use computers to facil- One influential line of learning research itate educational collaboration span nearly focuses on the social basis for children’s the entire history of the Internet. and repre. motivator and can lead to better learning tronic school yearbook and displays for a than relying on individual desk work. The computers store and graph the data immediately.27 http://www.

If the same student the globe to build a common understanding of some topic. dent. it would take much longer been created for use in classrooms at all to explore the range of variation. feedback.41 understanding of concepts. history.28 The ers have frequent opportunities to apply the goal of CSILE is to support structured col.38 Third. students typically computer-assisted feedback.37 cisms—in the form of questions. ior of a mathematical model very rapidly. this can create more time for the tive learning by partnering classrooms in dif. a deeper an appropriate boilerplate response. stu- dents in K–12 classes who use CSILE for sci. Students who participate in computer- ence. statements. feedback. and an increased willingness dents show improvement. in some situations. a program have very little time to interact with materi.42 In another version of In traditional classrooms.29 Although all stu. almost immediately. and social studies perform connected learning networks show increased better on standardized tests and create deeper explanations than students in classes motivation. Unlike other media. In the first method.30 graphed each parameter setting for the Many types of learning networks have model by hand.futureofchildren.40 One and evidence and to produce clearer scien. study compared two methods of e-mail- tific explanations. graphing. learning proceeds most rapidly when learn- ment (CSILE.34 Reports from researchers based coaching. the AT&T Learning computer tools can engage students for Circles project uses computer networking extended periods on their own or in small for multicultural and multilingual collabora. and diagrams—to a shared database classi.33 Research indicates that computer appli- Convince Me and Belvedere systems help cations such as those described above can be students to distinguish between hypotheses effective tools to support learning. Students can work with other students from getting a quicker feel for the range of varia- their classroom or school or from around tion in the model. using interactive CSILE permits students or experts to partic. tutors and teachers suggest that students who par.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 81 One major.39 equitable participation than ordinarily occurs in face-to-face classroom discussions. concepts.31. First. called Diagnoser assesses students’ under- als. or the teacher.35 and approximately equally using both meth- ods. computer tools them- students become more aware of how to orga. By classifying the discussion in this way.31 The Multimedia computer tools can be used to analyze each Forum Kiosk and SpeakEasy projects32 struc. a deeper understanding of without this technology. standing of physics concepts in situations http://www. For example. but the boilerplate-based coaching Learning Through Frequent Interaction allowed four times as many students to have and Feedback access to a tutor. dent typically receives. positive effects are to tackle difficult questions. research suggests that Supported Intentional Learning Environ. a student may explore the behav- ipate independent of their physical location. long-term effort that exem. Second. students often must wait days or weeks after plifies many of the promising features of handing in classroom work before receiving collaborative technology is the Computer. As illustrated in Figure 1. and an increased Students’ learning improved significantly willingness to tackle difficult questions. ideas they are learning and when feedback laborative knowledge building by having on the success or failure of an idea comes students communicate their ideas and criti. least three ways. other writing projects. each other. levels. tutors sent the student works show increased motivation. pronounced “Cecil”). teacher to give individual feedback to partic- ferent countries to produce newsletters or ular children. generated a custom response for each stu- ticipate in computer-connected learning net. timely and targeted feedback than the stu- resulting in more inclusive and gender. selves can encourage rapid interaction and nize their growing knowledge. child’s performance and provide more ture students’ collaborative interactions. For . especially strong for students categorized as low or middle achievers. In addition. groups. computer technol- fied by different types of thinking (see Box ogy supports this learning principle in at 2). In the second.36 Moreover. In contrast.

Results from assignments do not afford students the Geometry Tutor. example. an application that uses opportunity to learn when to apply particu- this approach. but more than dou. through the communication fea- bled their achievement in complex problem tures of computer-based technology.. Practical concepts in a variety of contexts. where students typically make mistakes. One of the core themes of twentieth-century mental and control classrooms showed learning research has been students’ fre- scores rising more than 15% when teachers quent failure to apply what they learn in incorporated use of Diagnoser. showed small gains on stan. students support and refine their ideas online. The notes are classified into types of thinking such as “My theory for now. see Web site at http://csile. to develop the ability to transfer knowledge from the classroom to the real The most sophisticated applications of world. and tion techniques in simplified or artificial provide tutoring whenever students stray contexts. and the critique and questions of their distant peers. The students work enthusiastically with their teachers to come up with researchable questions based on both library research and real-world observations or experiments.. Source: For more information. CSILE is a community data- base that students use to share their findings as they do research alone. gests that. whether from a National http://www. Inuit. learn geometry much faster with such help. For Aptitude Test (SAT). The students express their ideas both in text and graphics. researchers at Carnegie Mellon Computer technology can provide stu- University found that urban high school stu. not simply memorize facts and solu- dents’ reasoning process step by step.” or “What I need to know next is. and in this case stu- dents use a mix of languages: English. but they also gain valuable writing and language skills and a better multicultural understanding. their teachers’ .utoronto. and the school to problems they encounter in the results were equally strong for low. breaking the artificial isolation of school sub- dardized math tests such as the Scholastic ject matter from real-world situations. then Learning Through Connections to provides teachers with suggested remedial Real-World Contexts activities (see Box 3). as a whole class. A vast literature on this topic sug- and high achievers. ques- tions. real world. stu- solving compared to students not using this dents have access to the latest scientific data technology. cepts.14 But typical problem-solving from correct reasoning. have set arctic elk as the topic for their CSILE project for the next few weeks. As the stu- dents pursue the questions they find most interesting.43 Data from experi. dents with an excellent tool for applying dents using another application. The CSILE software was designed based on a radical notion: that young students can and should be treated as junior scholars. middle. they put their ideas..44 Also.82 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 Box 2 The Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environment (CSILE) Project Two elementary school classes. and findings into the CSILE software system as notes and share them with their peers across the ocean. Not only does their understanding of elk improve.45 and thereby Algebra Tutor. and Finnish.. one in northern Canada and one in rural Scandinavia. learners must master underlying con- computers in this area have tried to trace stu. showed students—especially lar ideas because it is usually obvious that average or lower achievers or students with the right ideas to apply are those from the low self-confidence in mathematics—could immediately preceding text. in small groups.” Through the prompt- ing of these different categories.futureofchildren.oise.. or—as in this case—across classrooms.

research project is the Global Learning and surveyed GLOBE teachers said they view the Observations to Benefit the Environment program as very effective and indicated that (GLOBE) Program. C.46 Teachers and stu. use by scientists. Bereiter. and the scientists provide sion to Mars. or interpret the One important project that allows stu. the students are motivated to the same tools professionals use. Brett. Educational applications of a networked communal database. Through the become more engaged in learning because Internet. Although no rigorous evaluations of dents to actively participate in a real-world effects on learning have been conducted. GLOBE Program reported that they had students analyze.5 3 2. Box 4).. et al. technology skills. in the Global Lab Curriculum dents collect local environmental data for project.. about how to apply scientific concepts in scope in Hawaii. and policymakers who are making 1998 survey.800 schools around the world to scientists. Similarly. C..5 0 ic tu g ro g s io f G led on at o iff p in tie l w e ul a D ce tify n an pth w ati s th on n no ct e C Ide D rK e fo Exp pl Ex CSILE Control Source: Based on data reported in Scardamalia.futureofchildren. or a remotely controlled tele. In a people.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 83 Figure 1 Gains Achieved by Students Participating in CSILE Projects Students' Depth of Understanding 3. Thus. students from around the world they are aiding real scientific research—and can work as partners to scientists.5 2 1. their data collection has lasting value. Begun in 1992 by Vice the greatest student gains occurred in the President Al Gore as an innovative way to areas of observational and measurement aid the environment and help students skills. design. with access to Further. Further. and learn science. and reflection that environment while educating them about it. professionals routinely do. M. discuss.5 1 0. data. business. technology can analyzing real environmental problems (see bring unprecedented opportunities for stu.47 rently links more than 3. 62% of teachers using the valuable contributions to society. ability to work in small groups. an ongoing archeological dig mentoring to the teachers and students in . scientists have crafted techniques http://www. the GLOBE Program cur. Air and Space Administration’s (NASA) mis. the GLOBE Program dents to actively participate in the kind of depends on students to help monitor the experimentation. Interactive Learning Environments (1992) 2:45–71.

In the KidSat pro. the Jasper Project demonstrated the jungles of Mexico. assessed the Jasper Project’s effectiveness in aquatic. and aerial aspects of their For example.49 In exposure to ideas and experiences that these expeditions. using the program.51 Researchers gather and share data about the terrestrial. however. Demonstrations like this one are common in science courses. ogy by following the progress of a real dig in ple. airborne particulates. allows teachers to build on the ideas students already have rather than expect them to abandon their instincts and experience on faith alone. the electrical month. see Web site at http://depts. What is unusual here is that. compared with students not also connect teachers and students with sci. because synthesiz- or studying a rain forest. improve what children learn by providing resence” connections over the Internet. http://www. the teacher may work through a faulty prediction with students to help them refine their ideas. Without the support of the computer. called .futureofchildren. such benchmarking would require teachers to spend considerable time with each student to uncover their particular preconceptions and would be too time-consuming for most classroom situations. students using the technology conductivity and pH of rain. students can reach beyond understanding when teachers used their own community to find teachers and videodiscs of adventure stories that encour.84 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 Box 3 Diagnoser Students studying buoyancy in their science class log on to their computers and are walked through a series of questions using Diagnoser while they observe a demonstration of buoyancy. After a They study local soil quality.washington. Through online com- significant improvements in mathematical munications. Results are pooled ment in their ability to solve complex prob- through telecommunications. and carbon math tests. Because com- munications technology makes it possible to Projects also have been developed to see and talk to others in different parts of connect students with real-world experi. Source: For more information. the Jason Expanding What Children Learn Project.14 entists to allow active engagement in real- world experiences. students can learn about archeol- ences in nonscience subject areas. Many other projects problems. invites students learn. By using the Diagnoser software. and students lems. ers can make music. For example. Afterward. with the help of Diagnoser. but showed significant improve- dioxide in the air. the world. For exam.48 28 middle schools in 9 states. and more positive attitudes toward analyze their data with peers and scientists the role of mathematics in solving real from around the world. that allow students around the world to mathematical problem solving. other students who share their academic aged students to engage in meaningful interests. originated by world-famous In addition to supporting how children explorer Robert Ballard. students direct the operation of a ment with composing music even before camera on a NASA space shuttle. students can experi- ject. computer-based technology can also along on scientific expeditions with “telep. benchmarking is made more feasible because much of the process is automated.50 they can play an instrument. the teacher is asking the students to explain the demonstration rather than the other way around. and ultraviolet scored about the same on standardized radiation. The series of questions posed by Diagnoser helps the teacher understand exactly how the students are reasoning about the situation and develop a road map for future instruction. This technique. students communicate would be inaccessible for most children any with scientists who are exploring coral reefs other way.

a lively debate on why the measurements differ leads to a discussion of sources of experimental error. Reprinted courtesy of the GLOBE . the results are sent via Internet to the GLOBE Program where scientists await the data for use in their own research. The dis- cussion carries over onto the Web. After the class decides on their best measurement. see Web site at http://www.futureofchildren. As students prepare to upload their data. where a GLOBE scientist gives her input. the students enjoy the satisfaction of know- ing they have contributed to “grown-up” Source: For more information. inquiry-based. The students are able to do their own scientific analysis by downloading results from identical experiments run by students worldwide and by using sophisticated visual- ization and modeling tools. http://www.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 85 Box 4 The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program Students participating in the GLOBE Program collect data on airborne particulate counts and cloud cover using everyday supplies.globe. and scientists in authentic. Meanwhile. a hands-on environmental science and education program that unites students. educators. protocol-driven science in schools in all 50 states and in 93 countries. then enter their data into the com- puter as part of a worldwide scientific effort to monitor the environment through the Internet.

multiple-choice test. mathe. is. The research cepts in subjects like science. model physical phenomena. By technology using dynamic diagrams—that using the computers’ capacity for simula. and the humanities are discussed be a useful technique. cated for their grade level. found changes in what children learn. work is ThinkerTools. http://www. eral grade levels before the concept usually entific explanations for simple phenomena. teaching scientific concepts. oped the ability to give correct scientific even high-scoring students at prestigious explanations of Newtonian principles sev- universities show little ability to provide sci. visualize the concepts of velocity and accel- and Simulation eration (see Box 5). a simulation pro- gram that allows middle school students to Science: Visualization. Computer-based applications that making sense of computer simulations that have had significant effects on what chil. and simulation learn. researchers found that middle school begun to examine what students actually students who used ThinkerTools devel- learn in science courses. is taught. high school physics students in their ability dents may be able to calculate correctly to apply the basic principles of Newtonian using scientific formulas. math. and range of input—can help students visual- interactivity. concepts usually considered too sophisti- strated that technology can lead to pro. Modeling.futureofchildren. and lit.53 For example.52 answers on a six-item. literature abounds with successful applica- eracy by representing subject matter in less tions that have enabled students to master complicated ways. itive explanations.54 In controlled stud- Over the past two decades. but defy intu- dren learn in the areas of science. modeling. focuses on applications that have been proven to be powerful tools for can help students understand core con. however.86 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 PHOTO OMITTED The most interesting research on the Computer-based applications using ways technology can improve what children visualization. To their . researchers have ies. Involving students in concepts. One example of this below. pictures that can move in response to a tion. also has been shown to matics. Middle school students who par- such as tossing a ball in the air. ordinary students can achieve ize and understand the forces underlying extraordinary command of sophisticated various phenomena. Research has demon. dynamically linked notations. they often do mechanics to real-world situations: the not understand the concepts behind the middle schoolers averaged 68% correct formulas. This widely ticipated in ThinkerTools outperformed replicated research shows that although stu.

learn the concepts that govern bird-flocking researchers have found that the move from and highway traffic patterns. and people increasingly are called on to use physical situations using a set of interacting mathematical skills to reason about uncer- equations—which is ordinarily an advanced tainty. for almost everyone. so that for the first time students can actually “see” the equation F = ma. Source: For more information. ics—the modeling of economic. where they can adjust the settings to better understand the laws of physics. For example. to help high school students how much mathematics students can learn. The big difference is that the computer can superimpose arrows representing force. change. dents annually with weather map visualiza. which supports only static. as http://www. multiplication. use of computers allows for “dynamic. but in today’s society. acceleration. application uses special versions of Logo. comparison to the use of paper and pencil. and spatial undergraduate course. such as trying to drag a heavy object. tell us otherwise.56 Another software relations. metric figures) can have a dramatic effect. and/or velocity.58 the notation by dragging with a mouse. This challenge is not unique to the United States—almost every nation is disap- Other software applications have been pointed with the mathematical capabilities proven successful in helping students master of their students.berkeley. ThinkerTools.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 87 Box 5 ThinkerTools Students using ThinkerTools view simulated objects on a screen. a force and a velocity. and geo- application. depending on the settings). isolated nota- tions that enable schoolchildren to reason tions. Linked physics students. as described below:60 increases in both their comprehension of meteorology and their skill in scientific Students can explore changes rapidly in inquiry. when our experiences. It’s even harder to visualize what that force might be and to understand the difference between. Research has shown that linked notations” with several helpful advan- students using the curricula demonstrate tages. tables. and division) sufficed high school students to learn system dynam. shows students what they cannot see in the real world. simple advanced concepts underlying a variety of merchant mathematics (addition. a programming language designed especially While seeking techniques for increasing for children. see Web site at http://thinkertools. the Global Exchange curricula. the central challenge of appeared to make science interesting and mathematics education is teaching sophisti- accessible to a wider range of students cated concepts to a much broader popula- than was possible with more traditional tion than traditionally has been taught such approaches. Students can also change these arrows themselves to get a more intuitive sense of forces and motion. like meteorologists. compared with 50% for the high school Mathematics: Dynamic. In reaches tens of thousands of precollege stu. Simulated objects on the screen move according to the laws of physics (with or without gravity and friction.59 Not so long .edu:7019/. social. trends in data. say. The application Stella enables tion. a software appli- cation developed in the 1980s.55 Researchers concluded Notations that the use of the ThinkerTools software As suggested above. subtrac- phenomena. even though traditional paper-based mathematical nota- the mathematics needed to understand tions (such as algebraic symbols) to these concepts is not ordinarily taught until onscreen notations (including algebraic graduate-level studies. material. it’s pretty hard to believe that objects in motion stay in motion without the action of an external force.57 And yet another symbols. but also graphs.futureofchildren.

Unlike science and math. For settings to learn calculus concepts such as example.futureofchildren. Geometer’s Sketchpad. the mathematical literacy in a growing number SimCalc Project has shown that computers of the nation’s classrooms. to reason while directly editing dynamic ing the changes. unlike with paper and pencil. one notation on another. Computer-based tools have been Studies across several different SimCalc field designed to allow students to choreograph a sites found that inner-city middle school stu. and to simulations of familiar phenomena. not symbolic for exploring hyperlinked documents and computation. (For middle school students each year. Results of the assessment cultural artifacts from ancient civilizations. and the Arts calculus concepts such as rate. a tool for exploring geometric constructions directly onscreen. According to researchers. graphs.63 value.66 showed that through exposure to SimCalc. graphs and related notations is the central innovation responsible for this break- Students can see the effects of changing through. neering multimedia learning environment tual understanding of calculus. the commercially successful rate. such as modifying the value of a parameter of an equation and Another example of a software applica- seeing how the resulting graph changes its tion using screen-based notations is shape. in a few instances. breakthrough uses of technology in other subject areas have yet to crystallize into easily identified Computers can help middle school students types of applications. such as one that “loops back” to can show how each of these notations repre- define two different y values for the same x sents the same mathematical object.) Through the use of such tools. Language.65 Through the Perseus Project. accumulation. SimCity game (which is more an interactive simulation than a traditional video game) has been used to teach students about urban tion. students even have been giving the mathematics a greater sense of able to contribute novel and elegant proofs meaning. Nonetheless. fundamental concepts of calculus. limit. nology that allows students to engage in an level students answered some of these same element of design. whereas only 30% to 40% of college. Similar software can provide interactive inner-city middle school students increased media environments for classes in the arts. which are Students can receive feedback when they reaching millions of new high school and create a notation that is incorrect. such as Citizen Kane. and mean value (see Box 6). screen-based notations are enabling an expansion of Using dynamic. linked notations. to the professional mathematical litera- ture. enhancing the traditional emphasis on the capacity of computers to enable students appreciation. accumula. their percentage of correct responses from An emergent theme in many computer- only about 15% to 90% or more in a few based humanities applications is using tech- . scene in a Shakespeare play64 or to explore dents—many of whom ordinarily would be classic movies. http://www. are less example.61 planning. and mean value. and tables. a sophisticated than some of the desktop computer can beep if a student tries to computer-based technologies. Students can easily relate mathematical Such applications are revitalizing the teach- symbols either to data from the real world or ing of geometry to high school students. from weeded out of mathematics before reaching multiple points of view to increase their abil- this level—were able to surpass the efforts ity to consider alternative literary interpreta- of college students in their understanding of tions. can help middle school students in some of the most challenging urban settings to learn Social Studies. based on students are provided with access to a pio- a SimCalc assessment that stressed concep. and in a graph. limit. but they can sketch a nonsensical mathematical function display algebra.88 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 opposed to slowly and painstakingly rewrit. innova- in some of the most challenging urban tors have shown that similar learning break- throughs in these areas are possible.62 Graphing calculators. complementing and items correctly.

67 Another study ject on the Spanish colonization of Latin examined the effectiveness of using interac- however. Although there are fewer studies on the presentation on what they had learned effectiveness of technology use in these scored significantly higher on a posttest. students are confused by how a velocity graph for the clown can be represented by a flat line. one recent study docu. Supported by the National Science Foundation. Available at http://www. but rather middle school students working with the SimCalc software.umassd. Initially. Reprinted courtesy of Kaput. the students explore the difference between constant veloc- ity and constant acceleration. SimCalc MathWorlds. however. These aren’t college freshmen.umassd. Dartmouth. Using a SimCalc anima- tion of a clown walking along a road and software that relates graphs of the motion to the animation itself. J. Computer software. Award no. compared with members of the other sixth- mented the experience of two sixth-grade grade class that completed a textbook-based classes participating in a social studies pro.simcalc. MA: University of Massachusetts. they begin to explore the differences between a graph of position and a graph of velocity in the online other subject areas. Source: For more information. unit on the same topic. see Web site at http://www. REC-9353507 and REC-9619102. Soon. 1996. The study found that the students tive storybooks to develop basic language who used computers to create a multimedia skills and found that first graders using the http://www.futureofchildren.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 89 Box 6 SimCalc A group of students is busily learning the basics of . Today the students are graphing rates of change.

69 lum. Because the receiving only traditional instruction.71 ture of the knowledge in the domain to be taught. Each of software enables ordinary children to learn these organizational change factors is exam- abstract musical concepts like phrase.90 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 PHOTO OMITTED technology-based system demonstrated sig. monly are required to devote almost all of cations that can enhance learning. and programming music on the more likely to be successful if the surround- computer using Tuneblocks. and meter—concepts normally taught in college music theory classes.futureofchildren. students depends on a mastery of the struc- tial reasoning sections of the SAT.68 American educational system is somewhat like an interlocking jigsaw puzzle. a musical ver.73 Teaching with technology is no dif- The Challenges of ferent in this regard. elementary change one piece of the puzzle—such as and middle school children alternate using technology to support a different kind between playing musical instruments. with little time available for training access in schools will not be sufficient to in the use of technology. In another Teacher Support example. of content and instructional approach—are singing. is proving to use combine the introduction of computer be a powerful tool in helping teachers http://www.70 Experiences with ers to learn how to use the technology. ing pieces of teacher development. Models of successful technology Technology itself. Numerous literature surveys link student technology achievement Implementation to teachers’ opportunities to develop their The preceding overview provides only a own computer skills. ined briefly below.75 replicate these examples for large numbers of learners. tools with new instructional approaches and nificantly greater gains compared with those new organizational structures. assessment.72 efforts to In one innovative project. Hypergami have produced significant gains Studies show that a teacher’s ability to help in boys’ and girls’ performance on the spa. a tool called Hypergami enables Effective use of computers in the classroom art students to plan complicated mathemati. curricu- sion of the Logo programming language. But their time to solo preparation and perfor- simply installing computers and Internet mance. requires increased opportunities for teach- cal sculptures in paper. however.74 Yet teachers com- glimpse of the many computer-based appli. and the school’s capacity Compelling case studies show how using this for reform are changed as . figure.

vocabulary. and engage in collabora.45. effectively by technology. computer-based technology can be ics of change. or has been most effective when used to support English mechanics cannot be spent on the learning of these more complex skills and learning about acceleration. and instruction and less appreciation of the design in tandem with the basic skills of com. assessments. and administrators.3 but less progress has been can overcome the isolation of the classroom.futureofchildren. measure such higher-order thinking ogy are now oriented toward helping meet skills. adoption of particular technologies are tive projects with similarly motivated teach.14 By networking with mentors made in setting more challenging goals for and other teachers electronically. putation. The National that stressed their ability to think creatively Council of Teachers of Mathematics K–12 about a complex problem over a longer time standards often are cited as an example of a period. Teachers who succeed in using technol- ogy often make substantial changes in their Student Assessment and teaching style and in the curriculum they Evaluation use. They advocate adopting a curriculum that teaches the higher-order skills of reasoning. including teachers. As noted earlier. comprehension. effective technology applications in class- mitment from school . teachers science learning. it will be dif- that embraces this tandem approach. broad-scale another’s efforts. complex tasks. Progress also has been computers. school boards. community stakeholders. One of the biggest barriers to introducing cult without appropriate support and com. word decoding. support one areas. urban high school national standards and state curriculum students using a computer-based algebra framework documents. especially in the areas tutor system performed much better on tests of science and mathematics. or the structure of integrated most effectively into a curriculum Shakespeare’s plays.or state-mandated Curriculum Modernization assessments and the mismatch between the The type of curriculum a school adopts has content of those assessments and the kinds a significant impact in determining the of higher-order learning supported most extent to which computer-based technolo.76 Because computer technology numerical calculation tests.78 and many experiments with technol. and language Time spent preparing students to do well on mechanics.77 To date. and computer technol- ogy can be used to support a curriculum effective technology applications in with this emphasis through drill-and-practice classrooms is the mismatch between the applications. the mathemat- concepts. if not impossible. compared tury. many parents and educators believe that students should master basic skills before they are exposed to One of the biggest barriers to introducing challenging content. made in updating goals in other subject share insights and resources. rooms is the heavy focus on student perfor- mance on district. but showed only a small advantage sensible and widely implemented set of on standardized tests that do not adequately goals. Strategies for effective. some progress has been with peers who learned algebra through made in setting more challenging goals in conventional methods. Teachers also gain valuable experience challenging national and statewide goals by by using computers for their own needs. ficult. parents. On the one hand.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 91 bridge the gap in training on effective use of these standards.80 Although it is challenging to http://www. On the other hand.79 This mismatch gies can be integrated effectively into the leads to less time available for higher-order classroom. making such changes is diffi. students’ abilities to reason and understand tutions have called for challenging content concepts in depth without new kinds of to prepare students for the twenty-first cen. However. to demonstrate the contribution of technologies in developing National associations and research insti. many content of assessments and the kinds of learning researchers argue that the most effective way of promoting learning is to higher-order learning supported most embed basic skills instruction within more effectively by technology. impact technology can have on learning. dependent on progress in adopting more ers. Moreover.

interaction was more strongly associated with order thinking skills. explorations for educational improvement stretches from basic research on learning Strong leaders. collaborative. Technology appli- Specifically. The continuum of teachers. it would be desirable to have clear and broadly generalizable measures of effec- tiveness before committing to continual To help inform future decisions about investments in technology. student further explorations of effective use of learning will improve by y%. and number of computers available to a Four factors can be used to guide these class.” Unfortunately. and (4) school culture (see the article by Becker in Cognitive . (2) teacher computer expertise. In a series of cross-sectional case not a simple matter. http://www.81 cal: although technology use helps support school change. are rapidly moving ahead to introduce com- puters into the classroom. university These findings were echoed more researchers. These studies applications may provide strategies that suggest that the relationship between tech- could be considered for adoption in future nology use and education reform is recipro- educational assessment frameworks.92 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 develop ways to measure student under. many policymakers. The challenge is Instructional vision and a rationale linking to ensure this technology is used effectively the vision to technology use. several key fac. and with technology to applied research looking at the classroom practicalities of improving Support for teacher time for planning. Much more is cur- this journal issue). current research on Internet use than was participation in train- the effectiveness of selected computer-based ing on how to use the Internet. whether carried out by schools. should be executed recently in a 1998 survey of more than 4.84 Systematic studies of schools that have implemented educational reforms provide Conclusions and Policy useful information about the organizational dynamics of significant change and the role Implications computer technology can play in this Using technology to improve education is process. technology are needed. Even so. teaching when technology is a component. From a policy per- ogy in schools were identified:82 spective. and reporting technology use.83 In fact. parents. There are many kinds of studies conducted in 1995. and educators Technology access and technical support. col. attempted use can fail. Critical mass of teachers in technology To help inform future decisions about activities. laboration. to enhance how and what children learn. classrooms. school change efforts also Capacity for Change help support effective use of technology.000 with a reflective research component so that teachers. technology and many ways that an tors associated with effective use of technol. who identified these key factors the knowledge gained can add to the ratio- affecting school computer use: (1) location nal basis used for making effective decisions. or others. such teacher-to-teacher standing of complex concepts and higher. individual teachers. contextualized process. fur- ther explorations of effective use of technol- High degree of collaboration among ogy are needed. (3) future explorations: teacher philosophy and objectives. improving how and what students learn. Such data might improving how and what students learn. interac- have the opportunity to visit each other’s tive.futureofchildren. These explorations. rently known about how children learn than was known a century ago. take the form “for every x% of a school budget reallocated to technology. this survey found that cations selected for future research should Internet use is more common in schools engage the cognitive characteristics of learn- where teachers talk to their colleagues and ing as a constructive. the existing research falls short of providing such clear measures of effectiveness.

Hoyles. 1. Cambridge. Government Printing Office. U. Cuban. March 1997. and G. The nature of literacy: A historical exploration. National Center for Education Statistics. Successful imple- mentation of technology requires a context To maximize the effectiveness of com- of coordinated interventions to improve cur. Washington. it is particularly important to explore capacity for change with appropriate technology adopted in tandem with curricu.whitehouse. 2. DC: NCATE. Advanced telecommunications in U. National Center for Education Statistics. Internet access in public schools. February 2. teacher . Available online at http://nces. Available online at http://www.html.S. Panel of Educational Technology.ccic. D. Available online at http://nces. 2000.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 93 Curricular reforms. Tinkering toward utopia: A century of public school reform. new Today’s schools are not target initial applications of technology that all equally prepared to accept technology are most likely to improve learning within and use it to improve student learning. and Cuban. 3. D.ed. VA: National Coordination Office for Computing. DC: U. Available online at http://www. J. L. London: Falmer Press.S. Supplemental table 29-6.ed. 1997. DC: U. DC: U. Resnick. see also Tyack. DC: PCAST. April 1995. National Center for Education Statistics. Available online at http://www. DC: U. Washington. Office of Technology Assessment. see the report from the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee. Becoming literate. New York: Teachers College Press.S. Washington. Kaput. 8. February 1999. Available online at http://nces. Teachers and technology: Making the connection.whitehouse. 1986.B. National science education standards. White House Publications Service. From digital divide to digital opportunity: A strong record of working to close the digital divide. assessment. and Resnick. Report to the President on the use of technology to strengthen K–12 education in the United States. public elementary and secondary schools.P. Wolf. puter technology as a tool to enhance ricula. 1998. improvements that include technology to sure for individuals to know more than ever take hold. issue brief. Harvard Educational Review (1977) 457:370–85. Technology and the new professional teacher: Preparing for the 21st century classroom. Information technology research: Investing in our future.html. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher L.S. Washington. Arlington. D. Congress. Department of Education. Washington.. research can help Capacity for change. improve efforts over time.. J. 5. resources and processes that enable all the lar reforms that make complex subject involved parties to manage the challenging matter accessible to a higher percentage of transition. learning in the classroom.htm. eds. 7.S. Available online at http://www. Using the four factors outlined here. Given the societal pres. effective uses of technology children. President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. L. Woodhouse. Academic Connections: The College Board (1988) 1:4. should be explored in schools that are well prepared for change. Morgan. In Rethinking the mathematics curriculum.S. and Communication. MA: Harvard University Explorations of technology tively into educational reform as part of an implementations should focus on schools overall program for improvement and con- that are striving to have all these pieces of tinue to study its progress and results to the puzzle in place. Teachers and machines: The classroom uses of technology since 1920. 4. 6. The condition of education 1996. For overall programs of experimental reform. Department of Education. DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council. C. The mathematics of change and variation from a millennial perspective: New content. Department of Education. February 1997. Fall 1996. Department of Education.P. education policy- and all the other pieces of the education makers must incorporate technology selec- jigsaw puzzle. C. U.S. Washington. 1996.html. Executive Office of the President of the United States. schools need to develop their before. and Roschelle.futureofchildren. 1996. Coordinated interventions. http://www. Washington.html. Department of Education.ncate. Government Printing Office. U. February 1998. For example.

. R. L. 1996. E. H.. 1991. De Corte.J. Hiltz.. Berliner and R. Washington. J.A.F. President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. and Sokoloff. 11. Greeno. For a systematic analysis of distributed multimedia http://www. In International perspectives on the psychological foundations of technology- based learning environments. CA: Milken Exchange on Education Technology. McDermott. 1995. Gardner. 13. 6th ed. 1978. 1993. Cognition and learning. Griffin. mind.L. Hillsdale. New York: Macmillan Library Reference. Brown. Indiana University. 6. as inquiry.L. A. and imitation in childhood. Washington.D. Computers in Human Behavior (August 1998) 14:387–415. Anchoring science in multimedia learning environments. for example. 1999. DC: National Academy Press. Bransford. and Cocking. Cambridge. DC: Software and Information Industry Association. J. 1972. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “transfer problem. Evaluations of science laboratory data: The role of computer- presented information. Lave. S. Nachmias. and Tinker. New York: Basic Books. II: The lived experience. Putnam’s Sons. New York: Cambridge University Press. See. Liu. Petrosino. M. 10. Wenglinsky.. 14. D. 1998. Learning networks.” See Bransford. Mandl. experience and school. See note no.94 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 9.. R. as sense-making see. Perkins. for example. for example. NJ: Educational Testing Service.N. 1990. Rogoff. A. and Simon. 24. Meta-analytic studies of findings on computer-based instruction. 17. Newell. 69–70. E. MA: Harvard University Press.. 26.W. R. D. pp. Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achieve- ment in mathematics.. See note no. no gains in ability to discern errors because of probe setup and calibration. New York: Oxford University Press. B.C. In Handbook of educational psychology. Kulik. and declines in their ability to discern errors because of probe sensitivity. J.P. Sivin-Kachala. R. 1994. D. 1993. Thornton. Harasim. and Linn. 22. A. Piaget. and Resnick. Sherwood. How people learn: Brain. L. L. 20. 12..R.. J. J. 1996..B. Mokros. See note no. American Journal of Physics (1990) 58:858–66. 15. DC: American Educational Research Association.T. Svec.. and Schwartz. J. 18. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Ph. 16. Journal of Research in Science Teaching (1987) 24:491–506. and H. Students participating in MBLs showed significant gains in their ability to discern errors in graphs because of the graph scale and experimental variation. 19.K..J.. Teles.. A study of engaging high-school students as multimedia designers in a cognitive apprenticeship-style learning environment.R.C. Englewood Cliffs. dreams. Cambridge. R. 1986. eds. 27. and Bialo.R. A. See also Newman. for a summary of these studies. Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Rethinking transfer: A simple proposal with interesting implications. Knowledge as design. Hillsdale. and Cole. New York: W. 21. Calfee. Mind in society.R. E. The child and the curriculum. Dewey. D.S. MA: MIT Press. The impact of education technology on student achievement: What the most current research has to say.A. and Rutledge. Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. Liu. Norton. M. P. Sivin-Kachala and Bialo.. for example. 18. L. S.D. Vol. eds. et al. Effect of microcomputer-based laboratory on students’ graphing interpretation skills and conceptual understanding of motion.futureofchildren. Vygotsky. Collins. Department of Education. In The philosophy of John Dewey. 1989. . S.R. M. 10. Human problem solving. Hillsdale.. Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context... see. ed.. 24. Schools for thought. et al. 23. and Wenger.C. 1902.. June 1994. Learning motion concepts using real-time microcomputer-based laboratory tools. 1999 research report on the effectiveness of technology in schools. pp. J. K. for example. Goldman. In Technology assessment in education and training. New York: Cambridge University Press. Schacter. MA: MIT Press. Vosniadou. J. 1999. 1999. H. Cambridge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching (1987) 24:369–83. Learning has been conceptualized by various education theoreticians primarily as problem solving. The effect of a “learner as multimedia designer” environment on at-risk high school students’ motivation and learning of design knowledge. 25. J. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. and as design see. as intellectual socializing see. In Review of research in education. R. New York: G. IN.. M. 1962. Glaser.R.D.D. Bruer. 1999. 467–83. NJ: Prentice-Hall. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. M. Washington. eds. H. The construction zone: Working for cognitive change in school. Dissertation. D. Journal of Educational Computing Research (1997) 16:145–77. Santa Monica. Princeton. J. The impact of microcomputer-based labs on children’s ability to interpret graphs. J. Vygotsky. Play. J.

For more information... Toronto. M. Distributed multimedia learning environments: Why and how? Interactive Learning Environments (1992) 2:73–109. 31–33. For more information. A. et al.. The Journal of the Learning Sciences (1995) 4:167–207. Anderson. Speaking mathematically—communication in mathematics classrooms. and Bereiter. Cognitive tutors: Lessons learned. Mahwah.. R. A cognitive approach to the teaching of physics. 141–67. eds.. McLean. Wertheimer. Electronic communities of learners: Fact or fiction. Computer supported intentional learning . 41. pp.globe. Chelemer.M. 31. MA: TERC Communications. Journal of Science Education and Technology (1997) 6:23–36. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Gore. B. and M. 1994. ed. 33.P. 1997. 46.. Pimm D. however. C. 1987. M. B. Mathematics Teacher (1990) 83:308–17. see Pea. Cambridge. P. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (1997) 8:30–43. et al. Hadley. Ontario: CSCL. et al.GOV/. 31–33. December 10–14.T. 29. See Scardamalia.H.. In Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 1997. Weir. Knapp. D. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum 1996. 40.. 44. A. pp. Clark. C. see the KidSat Web site at http://kidsat. see also Suthers.. 1994. C. M. pp.R. pp. 1995. See. Marks.NASA. Computer support for knowledge-building communities.E. 48. M. A. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. J. The geometry proof tutor: An “intelligent” computer-based tutor in the classroom. Mahwah.S. Communications of the ACM (1993) 36:37–41. which will commercialize and disseminate the technology. and Bereiter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.R. Sivin-Kachala and Bialo..H.. See note no. A reasoner’s workbench for improving scientific thinking: Assessing Convince Me. The Journal of the Learning Sciences (1994) 3:265–83.R. Earth in the balance: Ecology and the human spirit. 47..M.. 36. For more information. see the Jason Project Web site at http://www. W. Scardamalia. Anderson. In Proceedings of ACM Multimedia ’95. and Bereiter.W. Means. 1995. Computer support for knowledge-building communities. C. K.futureofchildren. In Classroom lessons: Integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice. J. C. Scardamalia. that the success of feedback programs is linked to telling students why their answers are wrong. NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. 34. S. and Scardamalia. 1996. Learning circles: A functional analysis of educational telecomputing. Charlottesville. G. 10. New York: Cambridge University Press. K. Hsi. An integrated approach to implementing collaborative inquiry in the classroom. M. E. 28. Toth. The Multimedia Forum Kiosk and SpeakEasy.. Journal of Educational Computing Research (1989) 5:51–68. C. is now part of a national Canadian initiative called Telelearning Centres of Excellence. see the Global Lab Curriculum Web site at http://globallab. R. T. In CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm. 38.. Koedinger. This technology.D. Bryson. 10. MA: MIT Press.. Schank.S. Cyber-coaching in computer as learning partner.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 95 learning environments. New York: ACM Press. Anderson. Intelligent tutoring goes to school in the big city.M. Interactive Learning Environments (1992) 2:15–30. CSILE was started by Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter at the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education. Koschmann. Teaching writing to students at risk for academic failure.. 35. In Teaching advanced skills to at-risk students: Views from research and practice. Corbett. Scardamalia. Koedinger. TERC Working Paper 3-92. originally developed in a research setting. not just what answers are wrong. C. 39. and Gomez.jasonproject.. and Hoadley. Computers and classroom culture. J. ed. Studies indicate. April 8–12. The architecture of cognition. Riel. GLOBE year 3 evaluation. VA: AACE. M. Technologies for knowledge-building discourse. et al. London: Routledge. for example. Hsi. M. J. Sivin-Kachala and Bialo. 42. Hunt. 37. 43. Bereiter. Productive discussion in science: Gender equity through electronic discourse.terc. Available online at http://www.. January 1992. S. 32. H. 1991. Schofield.. Hoadley.C. C. and Weiner. See note no. 30... and Minstrell. S. L. 1999. Ranney. and Berman. 49. 1992. 51–74. M. J.. McGilly.JPL. 1996. New York. In Proceedings of the 1994 International Symposium on Mathematics/Science Education and Technology. E. ed. Gains have also been found for students participating in CSILE projects at the university level.R. R. New York: Plume. 45. http://www. K. Hoadley.

Landow and P. 62. Cambridge.. modeling. 1996. 52. Misconceptions reconceived: A constructivist analysis of knowledge in transition. In A handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning. Stella ten years later: A review of the literature. Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem. Vye. conceptual change. pp. ed. Exploring learning opportunities in coordinated network-enhanced classrooms: A case of kids as global scientists. B. Interactive Physics is a commercial product that works along similar lines. et al. 1992. for a summary. Journal of Learning Sciences (1998) 7:271–311. Building a digital library: The Perseus Project as a case study in the humanities.M. The mind behind the ear: How children develop musical intelligence. Ferretti. J. MA: Harvard University Press. New York: MacMillan.P.P. 66. M. Doerr.C.. Cambridge.A. and Fredriksen.. termites. and Okolo. see Web site at http://www. H. J.. Resnick. 59. G. 1988–2000. 64. Feltovich. see also Songer.H. Turtles. Cognition and Instruction (1993) 10:1–100. D.keypress. Hillsdale.Y.H. Roschelle. MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers. J. See note no. The Shakespeare project: Experiments in multimedia education.. 60. Delany.D. 54. February 1995. 3–10. L. White. 53. 10. D. The Journal of the Learning Sciences (1995) 4:249–79. many aims: A cross-national investigation of curricular intentions in school mathematics. New York: ACM. B. and traffic jams: Explorations in massively parallel microworlds. 1991. Available online at http://www.J. 1. R. Sivin-Kachala and Bialo. eds.C. E. 1997. and hypertext: Random access instruction for advanced knowledge acquisition in ill-structured domains.A. and metacognition: Making science accessible to all students.C. Journal of the Learning Sciences (1996) 5:297–327. http://www.J. 8.perseus. 1992. The Heller Reports.. D. Friedlander. ThinkerTools: Causal models. White. R. et al.tufts. Complex Adaptive Systems series. Schwartz. T. R. 1997. The geometer’s sketchpad.C.J. Duffy and D. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 18. pp. 55. A. aids in the teaching and study of geometry. Prospects for scientific visualization as an educational technology. McKnight.. Gomez. Cohen. Chicago. Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. New York: Macmillan Library Reference. New York: Plenum Press.. Valverde. and THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 51. Sivin-Kachala and Bialo. 67. 68. see also Barron. eds. 61. pp.and project-based learning. 90–91. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. it is used by professional physicists as both a teaching tool and to simulate real-world physics problems. In Handbook of educational psychology.H. In Internet links for science education. G. In Digital libraries 1996: Proceedings of the 1st ACM international conference on digital libraries. et al. .R. Hingham. In Hypermedia and literary studies. Communications of the ACM (1996) 39:97–99. 257–71.J. Gordin. Cambridge. 189–220.M. M.. Crane. Berliner and R. J. C. Cognitive flexibility. N.. eds. Looking at technology in context: A framework for understanding technology and education research. See note no. 69. MA: MIT Press. For more information. Spiro. ed.L. D. D.. Science education as a driver of cyberspace technology development. 1996.. Cognition and Instruction (1998) 16:63. Marchionini. Smith.. Fox and G.C. Grouws. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning (1996) 1:201–24. 10. p. March 1997. B. Pilot validation study of the Scholastic Beginning Literacy System (Wiggle Works) 1994–95 midyear report.. N. Inquiry. Vol. eds. Jackiw. CA: Key Curriculum Press. W. K. J.M. 1991. MA: MIT Press. Schmidt. N. p. 56. Journal of the Learning Sciences (1993) 3:115–63. The Heller Report on Educational Technology Markets (January 1998).D. Third International Mathematics and Science Study. SimCalc MathWorlds for the mathematics of change. 65.Y. Kaput. Berkeley.M. Pea. and science education.. Jonassen.. R.futureofchildren. Designing multimedia projects in the social studies: Effects on students’ content knowledge and attitudes. This software.J. Many visions. 1997. 57. Jacobson. for a summary. Computer software.A. G. Edelson. pp. and Kaput. et al. available in various versions. L. constructivism. 515–56. and Roschelle. P. The state of Virginia purchases graphing calculators for all algebra students. 63. Bamberger. J. pp. In Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Calfee. Technology and mathematics education. C.. 57–75. J. Schultz. diSessa. Unpublished paper.

M. ed. T. 78. M. B. H. Lee. 6. Shavalier. National Education Association. PAT goes to college: Evaluating a cognitive tutor for developmental mathematics. and Sueker. and Nishioka. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning (1997) 1:225–61. 1990. Technology supports for improved assessments. 73. K. DC: NCTM. and computing: 1998 survey.Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 97 70. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In Technology and education reform. Means. 98-101. McClurg. Washington. E. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. pp. Council of Chief State School Officers. David. Orihedra: Mathematical sculptures in paper..uci. Learning First Alliance goals.. Bransford. 180–87. Harvard Education Review (1987) 57:1–22. K. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. and National School Boards Association. 83. Realizing the promise of technology. see also Stodolsky. 75.L. 694–707.. Koedinger.F. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Menlo Park. 74.futureofchildren. 1995. Shulman. and Jacobsen. April 1998. Means. B. National Parent Teacher Association. 1995. ed. 1999. J. 169–80. B. see also note no. January 1997.B. J. Available online at http://www. 82. Entwistle. and Cocking. ED408976. Resnick. ed. and Olson. pp. See note no. learning. Eisenberg. pp. In Handbook of educational ideas and practice. Exploring children’s spatial visual thinking in an HyperGami environment. 84. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.) http://www. National Association of Secondary School Principals. L. Learning First Alliance. Introduction: Using technology to advance educational goals. Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. 1989. Teaching. Charlottesville.. 79. Models and prospects for bringing technology-supported educational reform to scale.. Washington. The subject matters: Classroom activity in math and social studies. Instruction and the cultivation of thinking. National Association of Elementary School Principals. Brown. In press.html. London: Routledge. P. Available online at http://www. Education Commission of the .J. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Learning Sciences. (Table 1 follows on pp. In Technology and education reform. A. 1996. American Federation of Teachers. San Diego. Means. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. American Association of School Administrators. DC: Educational Resources Information Center. Transforming professional development for teachers: A guide for state policymakers. 1994. Selected readings from the 28th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. pp. Corcoran. K. 76. 77. 1–21. Becker. Means. 1994. CA: SRI International. Center for Innovative Learning Technologies.S. Means.B.. L. VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. 72. DC: National Governors Association. 81. Knowledge and teaching foundations of the new reform.learningfirst.crito. Technology’s role in education reform: Findings from a national study of innovating schools. President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. S.R. B. B. 14. J. 1988. In VisionQuest: Journeys toward visual literacy. ERIC no. Washington. Manuscript commissioned by the National Education Association. The Learning First Alliance member organizations include the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. National Association of State Boards of Education.

home. Children Logo had increased figural environments. Fletcher-Flinn. (CAI): A meta-analysis. assisted instruction (CAI) or on a test of basic math assisted instruction in the traditional math instruction skills than those who received classroom. Two used used computer-based teaching strategies on “at-risk” identified as at risk computer-based math activities scored significantly preschoolers’ mathematical of early learning activities and the third higher on the Test learning in a computer difficulties participated in noncomputer.E. Fletcher. C. college age measuring posttreatment ■ Studies that focused on analysis of word processing performance criteria such as word processing in the in writing instruction. Study took place (1997) 8:187–98. receiving CAI scored higher and utility of microcomputer. Ohio. http://www. (2) non..L. Review quality of writing. sites located in . A. education and training. Elliott. or different teacher for the control group. Study conducted in five school on standardized tests. to (1) Logo software. adherence to writing conventions. D. (1993) 63:63–93. students Piele. in New York. course content. attitude toward yielded a larger effect. graders received either computer. Bangert-Drowns. publication with only one factor: the Research (1995) 12:219–42. Belgium. number context of remedial writing of Educational Research of words. a positive impact on Technology assessment in puters in the classroom and at student attitudes. a 25-week period.. The 54 prekindergarten Children were placed into ■ Students in both groups that impact of self-regulatory students who were three groups. D. increased children’s or (3) control. Hawley.D.. American 8 months) matched on creativity and (nonverbal) creativity. Clements. Educational Research Journal achievement were assigned ■ Both Logo and non- (1991) 28:173–87. NJ: Lawrence neighboring areas were chosen. and type of CAI.98 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 Table 1 Major Studies on the Effectiveness of Computers as Learning Tools Study Participants Design and Methods Findings Baker. at the 7th International Conference on Technology and Education. The efficacy of kindergarten conducted between 1987 and study results for any of the computer assisted instruction through higher 1992. of Early Mathematical mediated environment. P. based math activities (and Ability—TEMA 2. Looked at a range of factors.. Study took place verbal creativity. Evaluating the twelfth graders three-year period.K. Paper presented for 71 days. J. teachers were given Apple com. traditional instruction only. duration of study. and Third and fifth Students at grade level ■ At both grade levels.L. Costs. did not perform better Erlbaum Associates. computer activities computer creativity training. writing. Students and Tomorrow (ACOT) had Apple classrooms of tomorrow.L. 1999.H. R. Journal of Computing used computers for other in Childhood Education areas). E.. 1994. The Elementary school Meta-analysis based on ■ Small effect on improvement word processor as an age through 32 comparative studies of writing skills. same quality of CAI materials. Journal education factors including educational ■ Gains in proficiency linked of Educational Computing level. Minnesota. M. and Tennessee. and Students from Meta-analysis of 120 studies ■ No significant differences in Gravatt.futureofchildren. and frequency of revision. and Hall. and First through Series of evaluation studies over a ■ Apple Computers of Herman. ACOT students Hillsdale.M. Brussels. effects. Comparison groups in ■ Overall.. Gearhart. instructional tool: A meta. J. Enhancement 73 third graders— Pretest. in Australia. N. B. year. posttest design over ■ Children who worked with of creativity in computer (mean age 8 years.

Foster. Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 99 Table 1 (continued) Major Studies on the Effectiveness of Computers as Learning Tools Study Participants Design and Methods Findings Foster. D.M. C. had a “moderate but based instruction: An updated through higher significant” effect on analysis. 25:366–82.futureofchildren. kindergarten evaluation studies. Computer-administered and kindergarten Children randomly assigned to five different measures of instruction in phonological children. Meta-analytic studies Students from Meta-analysis of more than 500 ■ Students who used of findings on computer-based kindergarten individual studies of computer. Representative Study of students who used ■ The more students Becker.A. Lazarowitz. training in the technology led to the greatest achievement gains. prior ■ Consistent access. computer-assisted learning group received classroom ■ No significant differences setting. G.A. 70 in second group. schools including intensity of use. Experimental group computer-based approach Daisy Quest program.. computer-based instruction instruction. study received 16 to 20 sessions with was found to be more Unpublished paper. improved. posttest design ■ Experimental group achieved Science process skills of 10th over four weeks in five biology higher mean score on the grade biology students in a classes in Israel. the awareness: Evaluation of the study. P. and Kulik.. Journal of Research on laboratory instruction that between the groups by Computing in Education (1993) included use of a software gender. analysis of achievement. Mann. DaisyQuest—a computerized effective than regular program designed to instruction. ■ Both groups scored higher School Science and second group received than those who had Mathematics (1992) 92: hands-on activities without traditional instruction.. Erickson. teacher training. program. learned and training. . Basic Skills/Computer grade students from program in West Virginia. and weather knowledge. R.D.. Human Behavior (1991) 7:75–94. increase phonological awareness. software. C. the more their test scores Education program: An 18 elementary Several variables were analyzed. 1999. Hillsdale. scored higher on assessment in education education achievement tests.. Prekindergarten Pretest. and were Lawrence Erlbaum more likely to develop Associates. In Technology through higher based instruction. R. West Virginia’s sample of 950 fifth. Computers in education achievement. and teacher and student attitudes. J.E. combined with software. Shakesshaft. attitudes toward the Family Foundation. and third group received traditional classroom instruction. C. and teacher equipment. Basic Skills/Computer Education participated in the program. 1994. J. Gardner. posttest design. D. The effects of groups in Georgia. High school students Pretest. Students from Meta-analysis of 254 controlled. 334–36. and Huppert. NJ: in less time. positive Santa Monica. Kulik. ■ Computer-based instruction Effectiveness of computer. The control group received classroom instruction only.. CA: Milken achievement sociodemography.. Kulik. J... J. et al. First with software outperformed CAI and hands-on activities on group received hands-on those who had hands-on elementary students’ attitudes meteorology activities without software.. ■ In two different studies and et al. 25 in first experimental group or control phonological awareness. positive attitudes. The experimental posttest. Third graders Comparative study of three ■ Children who had hands-on and Simpson. K. http://www.

Journal of Educational engender social experiences ■ Logo enhanced effectance Psychology (1994) 10:249–75. posttest design.H.W. C.futureofchildren.L.H. working in pairs Participants randomly assigned evaluation of success was perceived scholastic to either Logo or curriculum. K. Scardamalia. Journal of program in addition to traditional scored better overall than Computers in Mathematics instruction. R. D. Computer and progressive thought environments. Evaluation of kindergartners multimedia environment gains in auditory skills and multimedia instruction on (Multimedia Environments that language skills. Morre. teachers. with a sample size students. with children in a conventional New Orleans.K. Educational Administration of at least 40 settings.. 48 third graders Pretest.. posttest design over ■ Logo activities resulted in and Battista. graders were randomly assigned to metacognitive processing. B. A. and self-evaluation.. Conference of the American three months were compared Education Research.100 THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN – FALL/WINTER 2000 Table 1 (continued) Major Studies on the Effectiveness of Computers as Learning Tools Study Participants Design and Methods Findings Mayfield-Stewart. M. were able learning and transfer. indicative of cooperative effectance motivation. ■ Results suggest that D. interaction. on student learning: The area using a computer-based ■ The sixth-grade students and volume units. Nastasi. and higher-order based instruction in writing to Logo environment. their scores compared with problems. internally determined in the competence. physical achievement of students. M... eighth graders who had received traditional instruction only. though thinking in two cooperative examine whether qualitatively students still sought external computer environments. distinct computer environments approval. Bereiter. and presented at the Annual language development for showed better use of tense. M. 110 sixth graders Eight-week curriculum to teach ■ Computer-based program and Glaser. that enhance motivation motivation and higher-order for learning. D. conflict resolution. Fifth and sixth Students worked with a ■ Independent thinking. At-risk. motivation. Nastasi. Journal of children exhibited differing resolving cognitive conflict Educational Psychology amounts of behaviors and may enhance (1990) 82:150–58. The impact of (50 boys and 60 girls) students in Pennsylvania increased students’ reasoning model-centered instruction concepts of area and volume skills. Educational Computing Environment (CSILE). daily for Research (1989) 5:51–68. Raghavan.. Meta-analysis of Elementary school. kindergarten classroom. Sartoris.T. R. et ... and Clements. graders collaborative computer student reflection. and instructional Quarterly (1991) 27:161–84. et al. B. Computer. At the end of the the eighth-grade students. Meta-analysis of comparative ■ Amount of technology- achievement effects of children (grades studies. students were tested and especially on more complex 16:363–404.. and Science Teaching (1997) course. 12 fourth graders Pretest. thinking. and 28 sixth 22 weeks. 1994. supported intentional learning application. each study included characteristics of significantly related to in elementary schools.. Journal of Supported Intentional Learning were maximized by CSILE.K. Effectance motivation. Ryan. Paper Organize and Support Text) for to tell stories better.Variables analyzed related teacher training microcomputer applications K–6). McLean.. Pairs of students higher achievement in cognitive interactions. effectance motivation. inner-city Children exposed to a ■ Study group showed superior Sharp. http://www. Clements. almost eight months. Social. C. P. and cognitive either Logo activities or CAI ■ Research suggests that Logo growth in Logo programming problem-solving programs may foster cognitive growth and CAI problem-solving to investigate whether through opportunities for environments. formats.

speaking. Unpublished the study group used interactive paper. system (Massachussetts). February 1995. and math problem- tation.T. One spelling.and listening. in which year report. writing. The academic 114 second graders Students the same . gains in math scores. It is included here as a starting point for further reading. Data ■ Students whose teachers mathematics. school children.D. 1996. T. III. Abstract in group used computer-assisted solving achievement. and using since kindergarten achieved usage upon middle-class the same curriculum were a significant improvement primary grade level elementary compared across two schools in vocabulary. class size. L. ■ Study group demonstrated study of the Scholastic urban systems (California and an increase in basic Beginning Literacy System Massachussetts) and one urban language skills. and teacher characteristics. International: 57/06-A. 1998. student achievement in math achievement. Stone. Princeton. The information provided in this table was compiled by Eva Bosch.H. socioeconomic status. Does it compute? Fourth and eighth National assessment of the ■ Students who used the The relationship between graders effects of simulation and higher. (Wiggle Works) 1994–95 mid.futureofchildren. NJ: analyzed controlling for received training showed Educational Testing Service. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. program assistant. but is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the literature. Wenglinsky. disser. Dissertation Abstracts instruction (CAI). http://www. control group received traditional instruction only. reading. Ph. one did not. storybooks in addition to traditional instruction to support reading. same ■ Children who used CAI impact of classroom computer socioeconomic status. Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies 101 Table 1 (continued) Major Studies on the Effectiveness of Computers as Learning Tools Study Participants Design and Methods Findings Schultz. Pilot validation First graders Three-month study in two sub. in the same district. software showed gains in educational technology and order thinking technologies on math level. H.