While there are many reasons to remain optimistic about new initiatives to transform the learning process, it must be acknowledged that, first, traditional exam results and, indeed, possession of the knowledge they are designed to test, continue to be crucial for pupils’ future success (and failure). Second, if one turns the same critical gaze on these initiatives as on traditional attempts to enhance test scores, just as there is a lack of convincing evidence that ICT supports traditional educational outcomes, so too is evidence scarce that ICT enable creative, alternative forms of learning. As the review by LeBaron & McDonough (2009) makes plain, evidence for ICT having benefits as part of an alternative pedagogy is scattered, based on multiple small studies rather than having been subject to substantial (national and/or longitudinal), independent evaluations as reviewed earlier for traditional learning outcomes. The problems of missing failed cases (small interventions that did not work and so go unreported), of unsystematic comparisons (not based on those who do versus do not receive an intervention) and of confounding factors (most obviously, the considerable teacher effort and enthusiasm that often accompany such interventions) cannot be ignored.

sonia livingstone

Livingstone, Sonia (2012) Critical reflections on the benefits of ICT in education. Oxford review of education, 38 (1). pp. 9-24. ISSN 0305-4985
DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2011.577938