Engagement vs Enhancement

There was a report released in the UK in 2009 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families about the effective use of ICT in UK Primary schools. It’s worth a read, but one aspect jumped out at me in particular.

They noted (p10) that:

In almost all cases the pupils were clearly motivated and stimulated by the ICT approach they were demonstrating.

That’s great – though notice that they said “almost all”. Sometimes the use of ICT was merely a distraction, but in almost all cases they were motivated and stimulated.

The really interesting thing to note is that the authors went on to say:

In some cases the use of ICT achieved high levels of engagement but little beyond that; the learning objectives were achieved but the use of ICT, in itself, did not lead to deeper learning.

The authors went on to list some examples of activities that merely engaged the students, and activities that enhanced their learning. For details check out my summary in the NZ Maths & Statistics ICT Community.

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