In case you missed it, a wrong-minded study was released this month from the National Bureau of Economic Research that says that computer ownership does not affect educational outcomes.
Makes you wonder how on earth earth such misguided studies can even be commissioned. Also makes you curious about who is really behind the funding of research that misleads readers into believing that poor kids don’t need the same tools their wealthier peers use for success.
Here is an excerpt from the study:
Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other "intermediate" inputs in education.
Note: You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery. However if you have a .GOV email (i.e. @schools.nyc.gov) you may be eligible for a free copy.
We already know that a dump and dash of computers, books, or really anything is not going to magically have results if there is no time spent on effective use combined with coaching, modeling, and support.