Instructional technology and its effect on third and fourth grade students' achievement

Jeremy S Wendt, Tennessee State University


This study investigated the effects of a large-scale technology grant on 3rd and 4th grade students' state achievement scores at nine elementary schools over a period of three years. The study reviewed the students' achievement scores before and after the implementation of the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EdTech) grant. Each individual school's math and reading/language scores were reviewed. In addition, one school's individual test scores were analyzed for all four subject areas (math, science, social studies, and reading/language), gender, and socioeconomic status interactions. A causal-comparative research study was conducted to find any significant changes in academic achievement on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) for 3rd and 4th graders using an ANOVA at the ∝ = .05 level. All 3rd and 4 th grade student achievement scores from one year before the technology grant were compared to scores from the first two years of grant implementation. As a method to gain a clearer overall picture, all eight additional elementary schools that received the EdTech grant in 2004 were reviewed in terms of student proficiency percentages. Each school's 3rd and 4th grade proficiency information was observed and summarized based on the percentage of advanced, proficient, and below proficient students. Results from the research illustrated that those students who were not involved in the technology grant scored significantly higher than those with the additional technology from the grant. In addition, students without the technology grant scored significantly higher in social studies and science. Male students and high socioeconomic status students without the technology grant also scored significantly higher. However, when comparing scores from the year before the technology grant to the second year of grant implementation, the only significant difference was a decrease in social studies scores. When the observed proficiency percentages were combined with the statistical analyses, seven of nine schools involved in the technology grant experienced a decrease in achievement scores at the end of the first year of grant implementation. By the end of the second year, the schools returned to pre-grant levels of achievement and proficiency in most areas, suggesting that the grant implementation was initially overwhelming.

Subject Area

School finance|Elementary education|Educational software

Recommended Citation

Jeremy S Wendt, "Instructional technology and its effect on third and fourth grade students' achievement" (2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3259041.