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New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning

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Author Info

  • Angrist, Joshua

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Lavy, Victor

    ()
    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Abstract

The question of how technology affects learning has been at the center of recent debates over educational inputs. In 1994, the Israeli State Lottery sponsored the installation of computers in many elementary and middle schools. This program provides an opportunity to estimate the impact of computerization on both the instructional use of computers and pupil achievement. Results from a survey of Israeli school-teachers show that the influx of new computers increased teachers’ use of computer-aided instruction (CAI) in the 4th grade, with a smaller effect on CAI in 8th grade. Although many of the estimates are imprecise, on balance, CAI does not appear to have had educational benefits that translated into higher test scores. OLS estimates show no evidence of a relationship between CAI and test scores, except for a negative effect on 8th grade Math scores in models with town effects. IV estimates for 4th graders show lower Math scores in the group that was awarded computers, with smaller (insignificant) negative effects on language scores.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 362.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2002, 112 (482), 735-765
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp362

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Keywords: schools; Education; computer-aided instruction; program evaluation;

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  1. Imbens, G. & Angrist, J.D., 1992. "Average Causal Response with Variable Treatment Intensity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1611, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1998. "Does Teacher Training Affect Pupil Learning? Evidence from Matched Comparisons in Jerusalem Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 6781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jinyong Hahn & Petra Todd & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 1999. "Evaluating the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Law Using a Regression-Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 7131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1997. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 5888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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