Using Technology Wisely: The Keys to Success in Schools

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Teachers College Press, 2005 - Education - 101 pages
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In this book, for the first time, national data is used to measure technology's effectiveness on student academic performance in three subjects mathematics, science, and reading. To uncover key implications for policy and practice, the author links the test scores of more than 40,000 students who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress with reports by their teachers of various aspects of technology use.

Features: the use of real data to show which practices are most prevalent and which are most effective in the K-12 classroom.; a nontechnical presentation of the results of the only studies to relate aspects of technology use to student test scores; case studies of traditionalist and constructivist uses of technology to determine which approach raises test scores the most, with and without technology; and a summary with implications of what can be learned from the numbers, including suggestions for policymakers and practitioners.


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Teaching for meaningful learning
New educational technology and teaching for meaningful learning can be synergistic invocation,each enhancing the others,if they are thoughtfully planned.

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“Using Technology Wisely: The Keys to Success in Schools” by Harold Wenglinsky has the ability to influence an educator with regards to technology use in the classroom. Wenglinsky mainly focuses on two separate approaches of integrating technology in the classroom, didactic and contructivist. The didactic method that he describes engages the students mind through a more structured learning approach. The teacher or instructor virtually acts as a guide for the students as well as a resource. Wenglinsky makes a clear argument that the didactic approach is impossible to teach in higher order learning of technology. He believes that the contructivist approach is much more beneficial and in fact goes on to say that he does not believe technology can be taught without this approach. He explains how a constructivist approach allows the students to work at their own pace and develop their own method of understand the concept.
I believe that Wenglinsky shows a great deal of strengths in his writing about the integration of technology. One of these strengths to me is how he is able to present a view on integrated technology and provide the reader with a plethora of evidence whether you buy into it or not. Wenglinsky showed a bias towards project-based learning as being an effective strategy to teaching. With recent studies that I have done, I would agree with this statement even before he presented his argument. But Wenglinsky got my attention more by present more evidence as to why PBL promotes a student centered learning environment.
Behind his strengths in his work, Wenglinsky shows a few weaknesses in his text as well. I think much of his writing is directed towards other teachers and critiquing their style of education. I don’t think that this is a fair approach because he sort of attacks a group of individuals who do not necessarily have the ability to defend themselves. In many cases, teachers are working under a curriculum or system that does not allow them to differentiate as much as they may want to. There are many factors behind a teacher’s instruction that may cause him or her to teach a certain way.
Overall, this text is an extremely brilliant piece of work that demonstrates ideas behind integrating technology into the classroom. This is a perfect read for teachers who are eager to teach technology as it gives them new ideas and ways to differentiate their instruction.


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Key Points
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The Movement to Improve Teacher Quality
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Conect and the ALL School
High Tech High
What NAEP Says About
Educational Technology in Science
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Key Points

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About the author (2005)

Harold Wenglinsky is Research Manager for the The Grow Network/McGraw-Hill.

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