Media and Technology

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The Impact of Media and Technology in Schools A Research Report prepared for The Bertelsmann Foundation Thomas C. Reeves, Ph.D. The University of Georgia February 12, 1998 Executive Summary Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . There are two major approaches to using media and technology in schools. First, students can learn “from” media and technology, and second, they can learn “with” media and technology. Learning “from” media and technology is often referred to in terms such as instructional television, computer-based instruction, or integrated learning systems. Learning “with” technology is referred to in terms such as cognitive tools and constructivist learning environments. Regardless of the approach, media and technology have been introduced into schools because it is believed that they can have positive effects on teaching and learning. The purpose of this report is to summarize the evidence for the effectiveness and impact of media and technology in K-12 schools around the world. A limitation of this report is that the vast majority of the published research on the effectiveness of media and technology in schools was conducted in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. For the purposes of this report, media is defined as “all means of communication, whatever its format.” In this sense, media include symbol systems as diverse as print, graphics, animation, audio, and motion pictures. Technology is defined as “any object or process of human origin that can be used to convey media.” In this sense, technology includes phenomena as diverse as books, films, television, and the Internet. With respect to education, media are the symbol systems that teachers and students use to represent knowledge;
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