The effectiveness of education technology for enhancing maths achievement

This review summarises research on the effects of technology use on mathematics achievement in primary and secondary school classrooms.

The main research questions included:

  • Do education technology applications improve mathematics achievement compared to traditional teaching methods without education technology?
  • What study and research features moderate the effects of education technology applications on pupils’ mathematics achievement?

A total of 74 studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in the final review, and these had a total sample size of 56,886 primary and secondary pupils.

The three major categories of education technology reviewed were:

  • Computer-managed learning, which included only Accelerated Math. This programme uses computers to assess pupils’ mathematics levels, assign mathematics materials at appropriate levels, score tests on this material, and chart pupils’ progress.
  • Comprehensive models, such as Cognitive Tutor and I Can Learn, use computer-assisted teaching along with non-computer activities as the pupils’ core approach to mathematics.
  • Supplemental CAI technology, which consists of individualised ‘computer-assisted instruction’ (CAI). Supplemental CAI programmes, such as Jostens, PLATO, Larson Pre-Algebra, and SRA Drill and Practice, provide additional tuition at pupils’ assessed levels of need to supplement traditional classroom teaching.

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