Following the release of the "National Study of Educational Technology Interventions" report by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, SIIA, the principal association of the software and digital content industry, released the following statement:
"As this study recognizes, proper implementation of education software is essential for success. Unfortunately, it appears the study itself may not have adequately accounted for this key factor, leading to results that do not accurately represent the role and impact of technology in education.
"A strong body of research demonstrates that implementation is crucial to the success of any technology. Whether a given school experiences the full benefits of a software application depends just as much on the planning, teacher training, school leadership, technology infrastructure, support and technology use as it does the technology itself.
"There are questions about whether these issues were adequately addressed in this study. SIIA learned of a number of concerns, including inadequate student time on task, limitations in providing comprehensive product training over the time of the implementation and inappropriate match of technology design to local curriculum. It is also well recognized that year one of a technology implementation is too early to draw conclusions. Time is needed for teachers to be trained and gain comfort in integrating technology into their lessons.
"In recognition of this fact, SIIA provides a checklist for K-12 educators, with specific guidelines to help facilitate the implementation process (available at http://www.siia.net/education/pubs/pp_Checklist.pdf). SIIA will soon release a more extensive guide. Unfortunately, many of these well-recognized, key ingredients were missing in the study.
"SIIA, along with many educators and other stakeholders, is working hard to realize the potential of technology in our nation's classrooms. The question is not if, but how and under what conditions technology is most appropriate and effective to meet the needs of students in this knowledge- based, global, digital economy. As the USDE study indicates, the large majority of study teachers said they would like to continue to use the products. SIIA believes success is being achieved.
"This study does not diminish the critical role that technology plays as an essential skill set for the 21st century, nor does it diminish the need to invest in modernizing our classrooms and curriculum to empower our students to achieve in the knowledge-based economy of the future.
"SIIA encourages members and educators to carefully examine the results of the ‘National Study of Educational Technology Interventions' and to consider the positive effect that proper implementation would have on this study's results. SIIA looks forward to working with the US Department of Education and other stakeholder to refine the use of technology and the means for its evaluation."
Source: The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), www.siia.net