We all know, I think, that when it comes to the reporting of research in the media, especially newspapers, you simply cannot take what you read at face value. This applies to all areas of research: scientific, medical and education. And, especially, education technology.
Why is this the case?
I've done quite a bit of research over the years, and I believe there are several factors at work:
- The economics of newspapers
- The process of producing a news story
- The shape of the news story
- Psychological factors
- Several kinds of effect (of which the best known one is no doubt the Hawthorne Effect, but there are others)
- The quality of the original research.
I have given a couple of talks on this subject, once at the ResearchEd Tech talk in 2015, and again at the Roehampton Festival of Computing in 2016. On each occasion I've had time only to cover the first four factors mentioned above, so I've published the script of my talk plus a summary of my findings in the last three points above.
I have also included a section advising teachers and leaders of Computing, Education Technology or ICT in schools of how to avert the worst consequences, for them and their school, of the inaccurate reporting of research.
You can obtain thiis report free of charge if you subscribe to the Digital Education newsletter, the link for which is below. Once you've done that, go to the subscribers only area, enter it using the password given in your Welcome email, and click on the button labelled Education Research Report. If you already subscribe, you'll find the password in your Welcome email when you subscribed.