How do you describe how digital technology is being used in education in a way that is concise yet allows useful comparison across contexts? The Digital Technology Impact Framework highlights key elements of practice involving digital technology across three dimensions.
The first dimension (Quantity) looks at the proportion of 'available study time' that pupils are using digital technology. Watching a teacher use an Interactive Whiteboard does not count as pupils using digital technology!
One way in which you can potentially change the impact of digital technology is to change the amount of time that students are using it - by changing the available study time and/or by changing the proportion of available study time when pupils are using digital technology.
The second dimension (Focus) looks at the learning outcomes. There are three possible foci:
- Learning ABOUT digital technology - where the focus is on the digital technology
- Learning WITH digital technology - where the focus is on the topic/subject you want to learn about (other than if that subject is digital technology)
- Other - where the purpose behind the digital technology use is neither to learn about or learn with digital technology. This might include wanting to occupy pupils or impress an inspector
The Focus only applies when digital technology is in use (by the pupils).
The third dimension (Mode) relates to the impact on what and/or how the pupils are learning. Essentially the Mode addresses two questions:
The Mode only applies if the Focus is on learning WITH digital technology.
The three dimensions interact with each other and together give a powerful way of describing the key features of digital technology use in education. As illustrated in the diagram below
- changing the quantity of time students spend using digital technology changes the amount of time that they can potentially spend on the different foci
- changing the amount of time spent learning WITH digital technology affects the scope for that use to have an impact
NB This is an updated version of the Computer Practice Framework, which I developed as part of my PhD