Rapid advances in technology during the last few decades have provided a multitude of new options for teaching and learning. Although technology is being widely adopted in education, there is a shortage of research on the effects that this technology might have on student learning, and why those effects occur. We conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on various uses of digital technology in educational settings, and the effects of that technology on students’ objective learning outcomes. We interpret these effects within the context of empirical research on effective principles of learning, and the extent to which the affordances of technology permit opportunities for increased engagement with the material, retrieval practice, and spacing. Results revealed that technology is neither beneficial nor harmful for learning when used primarily as a means of presenting information (e.g., information viewed on a computer screen vs. on paper), but can be beneficial when it involves unique affordances that leverage effective learning principles. We discues these findings in light of the ever-increasing availability of technology in education, and the importance of evidence-guided criteria in decisions about adoption and implementation.
- Cognitive Science
- Effective Learning Principles
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology