Simply placing any technology in a classroom will do nothing more than increase the amount of stuff in the room. We all know this. It doesn't matter what the technology is, paper, pencils, projectors, laptops, unless the technology can be meaningfully integrated into the curriculum it will not have a positive effect on overall learning.
What this study does, beyond saying the obvious, is to identify the two main problems with education.
Problem one is that politicians, the public and school board administrators think they can increase student learning by stuffing technology in the classroom. Well I've seen many a classroom over the last 40 years that have wonderful technological marvels collecting dust as they sit unused on the shelf. I've also seen classrooms with next to no cutting edge technology that have produced students who excel in learning. So the presence of technology does not make for increased test scores. So why is money being spent on laptops and networks and other gadgets when this is shown to fail? Well, because we as a society think the quick fix is the way to make it happen. Society is looking for the quick fix for everything, buy on credit vs saving, liposuction instead of lifestyle change, etc. So why not education too.
The second problem is that we all assume we know what education needs, in this case computers. We all know all there is to know about education, after all most of us sat in a classroom for a dozen or more years we should be experts. In fact today we are allowing our politicians and media to use education as their whipping boy. We denigrate teachers. We fail to support schools. We have allowed the educational system to be perverted to the point where we value the politicos who run our education systems more than the teachers who actually do the real work. Well folks collectively we know next to nothing about education. Our politicians and education politicos know F**k all. To resolve this problem in education let's put the resources (money, people) back in the classroom where they belong. Let's invest more in teachers and less in the administrators whose job it is to support the actual education of our kids. Let's invest the money in actual classroom resources like books, manipulatives, lunch programs, and ongoing professional teacher training. Let's put the resources back where the education rubber meets the education road.
Sorry to ramble here folks, but let's all realize that large schools, huge school boards, and standardized testing are not in place for the benefit of students. These things benefit the politicians and education politico. Bring education back to the neighborhoods and the kids it is meant to searve. Take it away from politicians. hey folks consider getting involved.