Published: March 29, 2007
If you had to pick a word to characterize research in educational technology in the 1990s, it probably would have been “innovation.” Fueled by public and private dollars, experts were in full-bore research-and-development mode for much of that decade, exploring all kinds of classroom applications for digital technology.
The problem was that researchers paid less attention to documenting how—and, in some cases, whether—their innovations improved learning. And they spent even less time thinking about how to sustain and spread their use.
“Maybe 10 years ago, there was more latitude to say, ‘Let’s try out some crazy technology ideas and see if kids find it useful,’ ” says Chris Quintana, an assistant professor of learning technologies at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. “Then it would be, ‘OK, let’s move on...