A report by the National Assessment of Education Progress in 2013 states that two-thirds of Grade 4 students in the country could not yet read what is expected of them at their level. This is ironic because the U.S. allots a larger budget for each student as compared to other countries. Many policy makers concentrate their efforts mainly on the improvement of K-12 schools. Unfortunately, other factors should also be taken into consideration. It is not just a matter of increasing the funding or facilities in the academe. Teachers should be educated, and studies regarding learning should also be conducted.
Why Should Research in Education Be Prioritized?
The government has already mandated that students in the country should have access to educational technology. In fact, the Office of Educational Technology has been established to focus on implementing this mandate. Many schools have followed suit by acquiring EdTech materials to use in their system. However, the ones who procure these materials are often at a loss in determining the best type of product to get for their schools.
This is where the concept of “research-based” comes in. Products are being developed based on the data generated by research. If data show that a particular method is effective in helping the students learn a particular concept, a product that will help implement that method will be developed accordingly. This ensures that the money invested in developing new EdTech products are not wasted.
One of the most significant findings research has produced is that collaborative learning produces more positive results as compared to efforts made individually or fostering a competitive environment in the classroom. This helps the students manage their time effectively, increases their motivation to learn, and develops their relationships with their peers.
Studies also show that students accomplish more when working in groups than when they are working on their own. One of the products currently on the market that enhances collaborative learning is Kami. It is a powerful yet simple tool developed to improve document workflow and to allow editing, annotating, and collaborating on a wide range of documents. Since it can be connected to Google Drive, collaborating is possible no matter where you are. It is now easy for students and teachers to communicate and share their ideas with each other in real time.
Decision-Making that is Not Properly Backed by Research is Futile
Many EdTech developers claim that the products they have are based on research. However, some of them do not explain clearly to their clients how they applied the findings of a study to their product. On the other side of the coin, developers are sometimes confused as to what kind of results would matter most to their clients. The two sides concerned should learn how to work together and use the information that is available to them effectively, or else money, time, and effort will be wasted.
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