Technology’s Contribution To Teaching And Policy: Efficiency, Standardization, Or Transformation?


Means, B., Roschelle, R., Penuel, W., Sabelli, N., & Haertel, G. (2004). Technology’s contribution to teaching and policy: Efficiency, standardization, or transformation? In R. E. Floden (Ed.), Review of Research in Education (Vol. 27). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.


The dramatic influx of technology into America’s schools since the 1990s prompts the question of technology’s role as a lever for policy. We begin this chapter with a brief sketch of alternative perspectives on the ways in which technology can support education policy and practice. We will suggest that the connection between technology and policy is looser than that between policy and the other mechanisms described in this volume (such as standards or state assessments) and that technology’s potential for profound influences on instruction is yet to be realized.

After the introduction to alternative ways in which policymakers have viewed technology’s role, we focus on emerging areas of classroom use of technology where prospects for significant changes in teaching and learning seem strongest. Our selection of particular technology uses for more extended treatment reflects our choice of teaching and learning at the classroom level as our central focus.1 In an education system as decentralized as that of the United States, teachers have considerable latitude-even in these days of increased accountability-in interpreting and implementing policies developed at higher levels of the education system.

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