Key findings

Technology and reading

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Consistent with previous reviews of similar focus, the findings of this review suggest that education technology generally produces a positive, though small, effect in comparison to traditional methods.

The key findings were:

Year levels Studies were organised in three year levels: Key Stage 1, primary, and secondary. The results suggest that the effect size at the secondary level was significantly higher than that at the Key Stage 1 and primary levels.

Types of intervention The analysis indicated some variations among the four types of intervention (computer-managed learning, innovative technology applications, comprehensive models, and supplemental technology). The 18 studies of comprehensive models produced the largest effect size.

Programme intensity Programme intensity was divided into two categories: low intensity (the use of technology for less than 15 minutes a day or less than 75 minutes a week) and high intensity (over 15 minutes a day or 75 minutes a week). No significant difference was found between the two intensity categories, suggesting that more technology use does not necessarily result in better outcomes.

Level of implementation Significant differences were found among low, medium, and high levels of implementation as reported by the researchers. It is clear from the findings that no effect was found when implementation was described as low. A significant and positive effect was detected for groups that had a medium or high level of implementation rating. The implementation ratings must be considered cautiously, however, because authors who knew that there were no experimental–control differences may have described poor implementation as the reason, while those with positive effects might be less likely to describe implementation as poor.