Data & Research EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS
Evaluation of the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program: Final Report
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BACKGROUND

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (PL 107-110) established the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (EETT) (Title II, Part D), a major Federal technology initiative. EETT is designed to achieve the following three goals: 1) to improve student academic achievement through the use of educational technology, 2) to ensure that every student is technologically literate by the eighth grade, and 3) to encourage the effective integration of technology in teacher training and curriculum development to establish research-based instructional methods that can be widely implemented as best practices.

This report is structured around the EETT program objectives and specific performance measures developed by the U.S. Department of Education to meet the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). The program objectives and performance measures focus on teachers' and students' access to technology, technology-related professional development, technology integration, and student technology literacy. This report also provides findings by district and school poverty levels.

The study collected data from nationally representative samples of states, districts and teachers between school years 2002-03 and 2006-07. In addition, the study included case studies in 27 high-poverty schools. Classroom observations in these schools focused on science and mathematics classes.

REPORT FINDINGS

High-speed Internet access in K-12 classrooms. Overall, 63 percent of teachers reported in 2006-07 that students had high-speed Internet access in their classrooms. For all groups, classroom access to the Internet rose by a statistically significant amount. There were no statistically significant differences in reported classroom access to high-speed Internet for students between teachers in high-poverty schools and those in low-poverty schools in either 2004-05 or 2006-07. This was also true of Internet access more generally; classroom access reported by teachers in high-poverty schools and teachers in low-poverty schools was statistically equivalent.

Professional development needs of teachers in high-poverty schools. Teachers in high-poverty schools were consistently more likely than those in low-poverty schools to express a need for additional technology-related professional development. The biggest gap in needs between teachers in high-poverty schools and those in low-poverty schools was in the use of technology to meet the needs of English language learners, with 42 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools expressing a need for professional development in this area, compared with 28 percent of teachers in low-poverty schools. A similar gap by school poverty level (11 percentage points) existed in teachers' perceived need for additional professional development in improving students' technology literacy.

Quality of technology-related professional development. Seven practices often cited as elements of best practice were identified through review of the literature. When asked to describe their most useful technology-related professional development experience in 2006-07, 20 percent of teachers indicated that this professional development did not include any of the seven research-suggested characteristics. The most commonly reported feature of teachers' self-described "most useful" professional development activity was "directly related to the content taught," with 50 percent of teachers reporting this feature. Teachers were least likely to report that their most useful professional development activity included follow-up activities, with 24 percent of teachers reporting this feature.

Percentage of teachers meeting state technology standards. One of the GPRA measures for the EETT program is "the percentage of teachers who meet their state technology standards." Only 27 states (52 percent) had minimum technology competency standards for teachers in 2006-07, and states were generally not collecting data regarding the GPRA measure of the percentage of teachers meeting state technology standards. Among the 11 states that reported data, the definitions and measurement of teachers' technology competency varied greatly. Percentages of teachers meeting standards in a given state ranged from 8 to 100.

District wide integration of technology. The GPRA measure for technology integration is "the percentage of districts receiving Educational Technology State Grants funds [EETT funds] that have effectively and fully integrated technology." As reported on the 2007 state survey, most states either had not adopted a definition of effective integration of technology or did not measure the percentage of districts meeting the statewide definition. Among the 17 states that did report the percentage of districts meeting state criteria, the percentages ranged from 0 percent to 100 percent. The average percentage of districts meeting state definitions was 56 percent.

Teacher and student use of technology for teaching and learning. Larger percentages of teachers reported using technology for a variety of professional practices on a weekly basis in 2006-07 than in 2004-05. The biggest gains were in teachers' use of technology to "develop curricula or assignments in reading, math, or other subjects" and to "present reading, math, or other subject concepts to students." The only two exceptions to this trend were using technology to test students, which decreased, and using technology to collaborate with experts or teachers in other locations, which did not change during this two-year period.

Assessing student technology literacy. One of the GPRA measures for the EETT program is "the percentage of students who meet state technology standards by the end of the eighth grade." Forty-four states had either stand-alone technology standards for students or technology standards that were integrated into other student academic standards. Six states reported conducting statewide assessments of student technology literacy in 2005-06, up from just two states in 2002-03. Twenty-five states reported relying on districts to assess student technology literacy. For the 12 states that reported data, the average percentage of students meeting technology literacy standards was 64 percent; percentages ranged from 10 percent to 100 percent.

This report is available online at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html.


 
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Last Modified: 05/04/2009