Innovations in Education Technology: Evidence from K-12 Field Experiments
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Researchers have studied the effects of text messaging and other device outreach on student outcomes from pre-kindergarten to college, finding large returns relative to small financial outlays (Castleman & Page, 2014; Mayer, Kalil, Oreopoulos, & Gallegos, 2015; York & Loeb, 2014). These interventions are especially effective for students from low-income families, who tend to experience lower levels of parental engagement (Bradley, Corwyn, McAdoo & García Coll, 2001; Kalil, Ryan & Corey 2012). This panel examines how schools leverage new technology to engage students and parents in active learning and reduce student achievement gaps.
The author of the first paper, “Leveraging Technology to Engage Parents at Scale: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial,” evaluates the impact of a school-year text message intervention targeted at parents of middle and high school students, notifying parents about their child’s missed assignments, grades and class absences. In the second paper, “Can Schools Empower Parents to Prevent Summer Learning Loss? A Text Message Field Experiment to Promote Literacy Skills,” the authors examine the impact of summer text message outreach to parents of 1st through 4th grade students promoting literacy skills and emphasizing the importance of reading. The authors of the third paper, “Summer Reading Connection: Engaging Student Learning through Technology,” examine a summer reading campaign targeting 2nd through 5th grade that distributed motivational and instructional literacy videos via iPad. In the final paper, “The Impact of Achieve3000 on Elementary Literacy Outcomes: Final Results from a Three-Year Randomized Trial,” the authors examine an in-school literacy tool that differentiated reading passages to develop reading proficiency in 2nd through 5th grade students. Together, these papers offer insight into a range of information and communications technology tools available for districts to affect student learning.