I just read an impressive article from Les Foltos on the relationship between classroom technology use and academic achievement in students. It is chock full of real data collected in several studies, and despite being wordy like most academic papers, it is definitely worth perusal.
Here are a few tidbits:
- Despite $5 billion annual in spending on classroom tech "fewer than 20% of teachers use technology several times a week, and up to half of all teachers didn't use technology at all."
- Using computers to teach low order thinking skills, "...[W]as negatively related to academic achievement…." Put another way, this type of computer use was worse than doing nothing. By contrast, teachers who had students use computers to solve simulations saw their students' math scores increase significantly.
- "We find that when you put the two, (inquiry based learning and true technology integration) together there's a synergy created that really boosts students' learning"
Go read it, and see how it matches against your own kids' experiences.