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The Effects of Technology on Reading Performance in the Middle-School Grades: A Meta-Analysis With Recommendations for Policy

November 2005

P. David Pearson
University of California Berkeley

Richard E. Ferdig
University of Florida

Robert L. Blomeyer, Jr.
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory

Juan Moran
University of Illinois

This article reports the results of a meta-analysis of 20 research articles containing 89 effect sizes related to the use of digital tools and learning environments to enhance literacy acquisition. Results (weighted effect size of 0.489) demonstrate that technology can have a positive effect on reading comprehension, but little research has focused on the effect of technology on metacognitive, affective, and dispositional outcomes. We conclude that although there is reason to be optimistic about using technology in middle-school literacy programs, there is also reason to encourage the research community to redouble its emphasis on digital learning environments for students in this age range and to broaden the scope of the interventions and outcomes they study.

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