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New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning

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  • Joshua Angrist
  • Victor Lavy

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 on pupils' test scores. 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. CAI does not appear to have had educational benefits that translated into higher test scores. Results for 4th graders show sharply lower Math scores in the group that was awarded computers, with smaller (insignificant) negative effects on verbal scores. Results for 8th graders' test scores are very imprecise, probably reflecting the much weaker first-stage relationship between program funding and the use of CAI in 8th grade. The estimates for 8th grade Math scores are also negative, however.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," NBER Working Papers 7424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7424
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Angrist, Joshua D & Lavy, Victor, 2001. "Does Teacher Training Affect Pupil Learning? Evidence from Matched Comparisons in Jerusalem Public Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 343-369, April.
    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.
    5. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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