New report bears evidence that ICT improves learning and saves time for teachers

Don PasseyDon PasseyIndependent research conducted by Don Passsey, senior research fellow at Lancaster University, reveals that digital resources which are integrated into classroom work, and are used early with children can improve their achievements. His study of the use of Espresso in primary schools found that it saved teachers time and was associated with higher scores in key stage 2 SATS

“Resources often support certain areas of learning better than others," he said. "The width of learning aspects covered by a resource enables teachers and learners to engage more widely and in different ways with those resources.”

Espresso boss Lewis Bronze, asked what he thought were the crucial points of the report, replied: "It's simple. First, high-quality digital resources like Espresso help children learn how to learn. They impact on a whole range of learning outcomes which correspond to social and megacognitive factors in a child's learning. In other words it's about the transference of learnin; it's about the learner as a person; it's about the learner interacting in a group, in sharing, in evaluating. High-quality resources, the research indicates, help facilitate all these things and develop the whole learner, the whole person.

'Impact on key stage 2 results a holy grail for educational technology'

Lewis BronzeLewis Bronze"Secondly, we've got evidence from the research, proper statistical proof, that early use of a high-quality resource like Espresso, in a well managed environment, impacts on key stage 2 results. I think that's something of a holy grail for educational technology because people always ask, 'Does it make any difference?' Well yes, in a clear, measurable way, good use of Espresso through the years a child is at school will lead to a better outcome at key stage 2, better than the school that doesn't use it much at the beginning and then uses it a lot in a rush towards SATs. That is not effective and that's what the evaluation shows.

"And thirdly, high-quality resources like Espresso save teachers' time. It takes half as much time (6.5 minutes) to find a good-quality, validated resource on Espresso that it takes a teacher to find an equivalent resource on the internet (13 minutes). So saving teachers time is a third outcome and the third benefit from the evaluation."

Don Passey, a veteran researcher into the use of ICT for learning, conducted in-depth teacher interviews and used questionnaires and usage data from more than 330 UK schools which use the Espresso Primary resource.

The full report is available here: