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The use and misuse of computers in education : evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia

  • Barrera-Osorio, Felipe
  • Linden, Leigh L.

This paper presents the evaluation of the program Computers for Education. The program aims to integrate computers, donated by the private sector, into the teaching of language in public schools. The authors conduct a two-year randomized evaluation of the program using a sample of 97 schools and 5,201 children. Overall, the program seems to have had little effect on students'test scores and other outcomes. These results are consistent across grade levels, subjects, and gender. The main reason for these results seems to be the failure to incorporate the computers into the educational process. Although the program increased the number of computers in the treatment schools and provided training to the teachers on how to use the computers in their classrooms, surveys of both teachers and students suggest that teachers did not incorporate the computers into their curriculum.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4836.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4836
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  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264, 08.
  2. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
  3. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2001. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 362, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39 - 77.
  5. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna, 2005. "Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School," Working Papers id:301, eSocialSciences.
  6. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2003. "Computer-assisted learning: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00295, The Field Experiments Website.
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