Student achievement is higher in classrooms where digital technology delivers lectures and grades assignments, freeing the teacher to support individual learners when they need extra attention.

These are the findings of Summit Public Schools in California, a network of schools which have given 2,000 students, aged between eleven and eighteen, Google Chromebooks as their primary source of information.

The students use software called Curriculet which prompts students to self-set goals for the week and then monitors their progress, letting teachers add notes to textbooks as students work through lessons at their own pace. 

Chris Hulleman, educational psychologist at the University of Virginia, says the digital technology fulfills a fundamental requirement of effective learning as it allows students to receive feedback on their unique goals:

"Differentiation is vital to setting effective goals," says Hulleman. "You can't just do one thing and every child is going to learn. Kids come with background knowledge and different skill levels."

When it comes to teaching students basic skills, technology seems to bear fruit. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that personalized learning helped students double their achievement in reading comprehension. 

In her Big Think interview, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp discusses the importance of technology in the classroom and how it can help teachers give a diversity of students the personal attention they deserve:

Read more at New Scientist

Photo credit: Shutterstock