Effects of Computer Use on Students

As technology is becoming more and more prevalent in both our society and our school systems, students and teachers are integrating computer use into most every aspect of learning.  Since the advent of affordable computers for individuals, there have been studies focusing on the impact these resources have on the students.

  • In 1994, Jame Kulik found that students who used computer-based instruction scores at the 64th percentile, compared to students in control conditions without computers, who scored in the 50th percentile.
  • He also found that students learn more when instruction incorporates technology, and students have a more positive attitude when classes include computer-based learning.
  • In 1998, Jay Sivin-Kachala found that students saw a positive impact on all major subject areas when in technology rich environments.  This increased achievement occurred from pre-school to high school and in both regular and special ed classrooms, though the depth of impact depended upon many factors.
  • He, like Kulik, noted that student’s attitudes improved when computers were used for instruction.
  • Dale Mann conducted a study of the West Virginia Basic Skills/ Computer Education initiative in 199, and found that participation in computer eduction raised students’ scores on standard tests.    The largest improvement was seen in low-achievement students.
  • He also found that girls and boys benefited equally from computer access.  
  • Moreover, Mann found that computer education was more cost effective than reducing class size, increasing instructional time, and cross age tutoring programs.
  • Findings by Harold Wenglinsky in 1998 are supportive of the above findings, as they relate to fourth- and eighth-grade students.  His study was controlled for socioeconomics, class sizes, and teacher characteristics to ensure accuracy and significance of the findings pertaining to technology.
  • These references are from an article, “The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement” by John Schacter.

Leave a Comment