Looking back, moving forward: Impact and measurability of the use of educational technology

Norbert Pachler, Keith Turvey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we carry out a critical review of the various historical analyses of the impact of technological interventions in education. The purpose is to analytically explore and learn from some of the methodological limitations and strengths of the approaches adopted to measure and capture the impact of educational technology. This retrospective examination is then used to explicate methodological design principles that can increase the use and value of research evidence regarding the impact of educational technology. Capturing and understanding the impact of digital technologies in and on learning is inherently problematic. It is exacerbated by the continually developing nature of digital technologies and their crossing of formal and informal boundaries. We posit methodological design principles that are sympathetic to the fact that evidence of the pedagogical application of digital technologies is both borne out of, and brought to bear in, complex and dynamic contexts that are mediated by, and impact upon, the various ways in which technologies are appropriated for educational purpose. The chapter concludes with a call for methodological perspectives that are not confined by paradigm, but that are able to bridge and integrate research paradigms in order to respond to the complex socio-cultural ecologies within which digital technologies are implicated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecond Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education
EditorsJ. Voogt, G. Knezek, R. Christensen, K.W. Lai
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)9783319710532
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education


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