Technology in Schools -- What the Research Says

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New research identifies successful uses of technology in schools; Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) tools, such as those produced by Merit, among recommedended options.

A new research report commissioned by Cisco Systems finds that Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), if implemented with fidelity, is one of the most effective uses of educational technology in schools.

"The power of CAI was in the provision of supplementary activities to strengthen learning and skill levels through provision of immediate feedback," says the report. "Despite decades of mixed reviews …it is possible to achieve significant gains provided sound pedagogy and high-quality content are implemented with fidelity."

Merit Software is one of only a handful of CAI tools to meet these criteria. Within the past few months, two research articles demonstrating the effectiveness of Merit products were published in peer-reviewed academic journals. The schools in the evaluations did not receive any special training in the technology before implementing the software. Summaries of the research can be found at http://research.meritsoftware.com.

Generally, the report is very critical of the use of technology in schools. It says: "The reality is that advocates of educational technology have over-promised the ability of educators to extract a learning return on technology investments."

The report concludes: "Technology does provide a small, but significant, increase in learning when implemented with fidelity. While this statistic is encouraging, the real value (sic) lies in the identification of those technology interventions that get sufficiently positive results to warrant the investment."

Rigorous research has demonstrated that remedial students make long-term gains with Merit. Merit Software is also affordable and easy to implement. Cost is dependent on the number of students who use the software. For administrators seeking to try out emerging, and proven, learning technologies, Merit is an ideal choice. Go to http://www.meritsoftware.com/buy/school.php to see pricing options.

Educators may click here to read the full "Technology in Schools – What the Research Says" report. http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/TechnologyinSchoolsReport.pdf

About Merit Software: Merit Software, http://www.meritsoftware.com, is an experienced publisher of educational software. Since 1983, Merit Software has focused on the core competencies for grades 3-12 and adult education. Merit Software is currently being used in thousands of educational facilities.

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BEN WEINTRAUB
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