In a blow to companies that produce educational software, a new report found that students using educational software to improve performance show no significant improvement compared with those who don't use the software, reports the Washington Post
The study issued by the U.S. Department of Education dresses down public school use of educational software as a tool to get better standardized test scores.
Many under-performing schools have purchased the software packages that often include videogame-like programs played on Sony PlayStations, as well as repetitive learning exercises.
"We are concerned that the technology that we have today isn't being utilized as effectively as it can be to raise student achievement," said Katherine McLane, spokeswoman for the Department of Education.
The $2 billion-a-year industry dismissed the study, saying that the results were due to poor training and execution of the programs in classrooms.
"This may sound flip or like we're making excuses, but the fact is that technology is only one part of it, and the implementation of the technology is critical to success. We need to take every study with a grain of a salt and look at the overall body of work." said Mark Schneiderman, director of education policy at the Software and Information Industry Association.
The government study evaluated 15 reading and math products used by 9,424 students in 132 schools across the country during the 2004-05 school year.