Saturday, December 04, 2004

Educational Technology and NCLB

It appears that technology does not have a priority in the current US Department of Education. The "What Works" Clearinghouse (http://www.whatworks.ed.gov/) doesn't even list technology under the "topics" section. I find it particularly interesting that so many studies are listed under the "interventions" menu as "does not meet evidence screens." Generally, there's a statement like "Does not use a strong causal design: This study, which used a quasi-experimental design, did not use equating measures to ensure that the comparison group was equivalent to the treatment group." My question is - is our research on student learning valid when limited by the strictly experimental research designs required by NCLB? Is it possible to have control groups and random selection when dealing with human subjects coming from all types of backgrounds, environments, experiences who are attempting to function in a very unpredictable and unmanageable public school classroom under the guidance of teachers limited by their own prejudices, intellects, experience, talents, etc.? Then - to top it off - we measure success strictly by using standardized test instruments that we know mean very little when it comes to measuring critical thinking, creativity, innovation, etc.

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Ed Tech and NCLB said...
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