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Headshot Young Girl

Matthew Mays


United States

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While we know that educational technology hold seemingly unlimited potential, connecting it effectively to established best practices in education remains a challenge. One key issue lies in evidence-based integration. Many edtech tools lack research demonstrating their impact on specific learning outcomes, making it difficult for educators to choose tools aligned with best practices. John Hattie, through his work with the Visible Learning Institute, emphasizes the importance of "effect sizes", or quantifiable measures of impact. One major hurdle is alignment. Simply having technology present won't automatically improve learning; it must be aligned with practices proven to have high effect sizes, such as feedback, formative assessment, and collaborative learning. Here, edtech can play a powerful role in facilitating these practices. This is where collective student efficacy comes in. This is the belief that "by working together with other people, they will learn more" (Fisher, Frey, & Hattie, 2017). Edtech tools have the potential to support educators by enabling seamless collaboration, shared goals, and visible progress toward collective success. Access and equity issues persist. Hattie highlights the importance of "reducing the impact of disadvantage," but unequal access to technology and digital literacy skills can exacerbate educational inequalities. Ensuring equitable access to high-quality edtech and providing digital literacy support are crucial. Teachers are constantly inundated with new and flashy tools or integrations. With the drive for student engagement, educators bypass the need for connection to research and theory. By engaging students in the process, they become key components in the learning process, understand what is available to them, and can work collectively to improve outcomes.

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