Effective Tool for Teachers and Parents?

Technology continues to revolutionize the world, undeniably becoming more integral
to our daily lives. Given that trend, it is without surprise that the use of education technology in schools is also increasing. EdTech is now commonly incorporated in the classroom from school level right through to higher education.

But why are we using technology in the classroom?

Do we know for sure that it facilitates learning for kids and supports teachers and parents, or are we using it simply because it exists?

In this blog, we evaluate the following questions:

1- Is education technology learning more effective than traditional teaching methods?
2- What type of technology produces the best results?
3- Is gamification an effective teaching strategy?

To answer these questions, we refer to the scientific article written by educational psychology researchers Yao-Ting Sung, Kuo-En Chang and Tzu-Chien Liu (2016) on the effect that integrating technology with education can have on the learning performance of students.
  1. Is EdTech learning more effective than traditional teaching methods? 

For purposes of their study, Sung and his colleagues reviewed and analyzed 110 experimental and quasi-experimental journal articles published between 1993 and 2013. 

Overall, learning with mobiles was indeed found to be more effective than traditional “pen-and-paper” teaching methods (moderate mean effect size for the application of mobile devices to education was 0.523).

The research indicated that technology promotes innovative teaching methods, such as cooperative learning, exploratory learning outside the classroom, and game-based learning. These methods have yielded very positive results in education and learning experience.  

In addition, it was demonstrated that using EdTech facilitates the development of communication, problem-solving, creativity, and other high-level skills among students.   

The study confirms that education technology can play a powerful role in the classroom and can enhance and improve the learning experience in various ways. 

However, if technology is not incorporated into the classroom environment in a meaningful way, its potential benefit will be hindered

2. What type of technology produces the best results? 

Laptops, cell phones, tablets… there is no shortage of options for incorporating EdTech in the classroom! Does it matter which one you use? 


After considering the research, Sung and his colleagues concluded that using handheld devices resulted in more improved learning outcomes than using laptops.   

There are two possible explanations for this outcome:  

  • The researchers noted that the studies with handheld devices tended to integrate innovative teaching methods, whereas those involving laptops did not. The teaching methods used in laptop-facilitated studies did not enhance the learning outcomes to the same extent as the cooperative scenarios facilitated by using other mobile devices. 

Accordingly, the laptops’ shortcomings could be attributed to the learning methods used and not necessarily the device itself.     


  • The studies involving laptops revealed stark differences in teachers’ beliefs about their usefulness. While some educators saw the potential impact of laptops, many did not believe that their students would benefit significantly from laptop-facilitated learning strategies. As such, in many laptop-related studies, the laptops were simply placed in the classroom and either primarily used by the teachers or by the students for self-directed study with no specific teaching methods. However, the reason laptops did not demonstrate an increase in higher-level thinking by the students could be due to how they were used and implemented, possibly not in a meaningful way.

Accordingly, while the results favored mobile devices as being more effective, this could potentially be attributed to the teaching methods adopted rather than the inherent characteristics of the devices.  

3. Is gamification an effective teaching strategy? 

Game-based learning is becoming more and more prevalent across the board. The number of learning programs that teach via gameplay is increasing daily, from language learning applications for all ages to higher-level thinking puzzles. 

Let’s face it – whether we are young or old, the truth is that when learning is more entertaining and “fun”, we are more likely to stay engaged with the materials for longer. Individualized game-based learning apps can enhance motivation, and having these games easily accessible on our mobile devices increases our likelihood of using them.   

But apart from potentially encouraging more prolonged and frequent engagement with the resources, do these games promote better learning? 

Unfortunately, the researchers found that game-based learning did not necessarily promote enhanced or improved learning of the materials. 

A key reason for this is that the relationship between the concepts to be learned and the game’s content is often not closely integrated. A close cohesion between the learning materials and the game elements is required to achieve an effective result.  

Of course, gamification cannot be an effective teaching method if good quality content does not form the basis of the game! All the entertainment in the world cannot compensate for poor teaching materials.   



Evidently, the research has confirmed that the right education technology, when used meaningfully by ed-tech companies and educators, can have a decisive role to play in enhancing and improving the education process.

However, educators, including teachers, administrators, and even parents, should keep in mind that EdTech that is lacking in certain respects or used inappropriately might not yield any results - or may even negatively impact the child’s learning!

That’s why using scientifically validated solutions is essential for ensuring the positive growth and success of students.

In our next blog, we will look at how to identify the best technology for your particular education goals, to ensure that your input yields the best results for your learners. Stay tuned!

  • Sung, Y., Chang, K., & Liu, T. (2016). The effects of integrating mobile devices with teaching and learning on students’ learning performance: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Comput. Educ., 94, 252-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.11.008 
  • Teo T. (2010) A path analysis of pre-service teachers’ attitudes to computer use: applying and extending the technology acceptance model in an educational context, Interactive Learning Environments, 18:1, 65-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820802231327
  • Uerz, Dana, Volman, Monique, and Kral, Marijke. (2018) “Teacher Educators’ Competences in Fostering Student Teachers’ Proficiency in Teaching and Learning with Technology: An Overview of Relevant Research Literature. Teaching and Teacher Education 70: 12-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.11.005.