Implications & Effectiveness of Educational Technology Research

Roblyer, M. D. (2005). Educational technology research that makes a difference: Series introduction.

This article discusses educational technology research and its implications on validating technology integration as an effective instructional tool in classrooms. Educational technology is consistently evolving and many school leaders and educators are proponents of the use of technology in education. However, other stakeholders in education believe that technology is not a necessary component of classroom instruction and may only be used because it is the popular thing to do. In order to evaluate the pros and cons of educational technology integration, there must be substantial, quality research conducted that builds on previous educational technology research to ascertain the effectiveness of educational technology in schools. Currently, there is not enough highly organized educational technology research that validates the effectiveness of technology in classrooms over extended time periods. Since technology is expensive and also requires funds to train educators, it is imperative that there is a return on its investment in education. Roblyer looks at educational technology from two perspectives which include the instructional design that is needed to implement technology effectively and the actual technology tools, such as computers or mobile devices that are selected to implement the use of technology. According to Roblyer (2005), “Despite Kozma’s (1991) insightful proposal that research should focus on technology-enhanced instructional designs, rather than the technologies themselves, research of the kind he proposed has been almost nonexistent.” (p. 193). Therefore, educational technology research should move towards focusing on how educators should design meaningful technology instruction that maximizes student success.

This article provides great insight regarding how educational technology can progress in research efforts, which will improve the way that technology is integrated in schools. Roblyer provides valid arguments on the ineffectiveness of how educational technology is currently being conducted, and provides solutions that can be beneficial in maximizing educational technology in schools. I agree that research should shift towards how we can implement better instructional design for technology integration, since this will ensure that educational technology implementation is related to specific objectives, appropriately provides instruction to meet student goals, is rigorous, differentiated and incorporates real world application. The implementation of Roblyer’s findings can have a positive impact on educational technology research, which will lead to improved student performance regarding the use of educational technology.

I have implemented educational technology in elementary school settings as well as in adult training. I discovered that technology integration can be beneficial in both settings. However, it must be well thought out and geared towards meeting specific objectives with meaningful technology activities. Educational technology should correlate with specific goals and not be used to simply occupy time or entertain students. The same components that are utilized to create a framework for lesson plans in other subjects should also be applied with technology integration into education to ensure student success.