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Exploring the Impact of ICTs in Education: Controversies and Challenges

TitleExploring the Impact of ICTs in Education: Controversies and Challenges
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPandolfini V
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published06/2016
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number 2035-4983
Keywordsassessment, ICT impacts, indicators, objective-subjective evaluation

Educational innovation is considered as a top priority all over the world, and the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to foster it increasingly is recognized (European Commission, 2015; Eurydice, 2011; OECD, 2010). In formal education settings, however, ICT adoption often is regarded as a highly demanding challenge that usually meets resistance by schools. Although it is largely believed that decades of large investments in ICTs and the increasing digitalization of teaching and learning processes can benefit the education system at different levels, data to support the perceived benefits are limited and evidence of effective impact is elusive or even debatable (Bocconi et al., 2013; UNESCO, 2009). This essay offers a conceptual framework providing multiple angles for the assessment of ICT impact on education. It presents the various aspects to take into account and questions what is to be assessed, the appropriate methodologies to be implemented, and the most suitable indicators. Such issues are discussed in light of an Italian case study showing the complexity of ICT innovations in schooling and dealing with methodological aspects connected to the definition of a set of indicators addressed to explore technology-based school innovations.