The use of technology in classrooms can help raise students’ scores, suggests a recent study by SNDT Women’s University.
Pre-school students tested on conceptual understanding achieved higher scores when they were taught using an interactive digital white board, compared to those who were taught using flashcards.
The study, conducted between May 2010 and March 2011 as part of a Master’s thesis, covered 124 students (50 from nursery, 50 from junior KG and 24 from senior KG) from two schools. Each class was split into two groups, with one group taught through the interactive board, and the other through flashcards.
“The results surprised us,” said Reeta Sonawat, head of the human development department at SNDT University, under whose guidance the study was conducted. “It shows that the size of the white board and the fact that it had audio clarity, vibrant colours and was lifelike helped draw the children’s attention.”
Students were interviewed one-on-one and scored based on how many concepts they were able to reference from what they had been taught. Students who were taught using the white board showed a higher average score across the three groups than those who learnt with the teaching aids.
However, the study also showed that the difference in the scores between the technology group and the flashcards group decreased from nursery to senior KG.
“The younger children have a shorter attention span, less developed language skills and less cognitive development, which is possibly why the white board is able to engage them for longer,” said Kenny Sanghvi, the student who undertook the study.