Although schools across the country are investing heavily in computers in the classroom, there is surprisingly little evidence that they actually improve student achievement. In this paper, we present results from a randomized study of a well-defined use of computers in schools: a popular instructional computer program, known as Fast ForWord, which is designed to improve language and reading skills. We assess the impact of the program on students having difficulty learning to read using four different measures of language and reading ability. Our estimates suggest that while use of the computer program may improve some aspects of students' language skills, it does not appear that these gains translate into a broader measure of language acquisition or into actual readings skills.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Fast ForWord
- Language and reading
- Random assignment
- Scientifically based research