Has the recent rapid expansion in the use of IT in schools had a positive impact on learning? Research has presented us with mixed results that are often difficult to interpret. Providing computers is certainly no guarantee of their effective use: how IT resources are used in the local context to meet individual students’ needs seems critical to success. In short, the alignment of particular types of IT to particular educational objectives and assessment methods, together with planned, structured and guided activity, are likely to determine whether IT impacts learning. However, this paper argues that the questions of how, when and why IT impacts learning will require more holistic approaches to data-gathering than traditional experimental or survey based approaches have provided. Further research adopting a range of methods is needed if we are to discover precisely how particular combinations of IT, instructional strategy and student activity lead to learning outcomes.


experimental design survey research case studies meta analysis impact on learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel M. Pilkington
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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