Improving the Effectiveness of Digital Educational Tools in Increasing Student Achievement
This research addresses questions about the factors that support or impede the effective use of digital educational tools in public schools, with the ultimate aim to improve student achievement.
We study the use of digital programs and tools in two large urban school districts-Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and Milwaukee Public Schools-which have recently introduced digital programming/tools or are in process of adopting new strategies to better harness their potential for improving student achievement.
Both of these school districts have integrated digital technology in two distinct ways:
(1) as a more narrowly targeted delivery mechanism for reading and/or mathematics instruction during or after the school day, and
(2) as part of a more broadly available set of initiatives to support regular instruction, including "blended" learning strategies, where instruction both in and outside the classroom is combined with supports that are accessed online in a more self-directed manner.
The digital instructional programs in these schools are reaching children at elementary, middle and high school levels and children with varying levels of need for extra academic assistance, from those performing significantly below expectations to those just below or at risk of falling further behind grade level expectations.