IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGICAL RESOURCES ON STUDENTS´ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

¿How do students learn better? ¿How do teachers teach better? Technology has reformed education. The wide range of technological resources we now have access to have certainly modified the teaching-learning process.

This study shares the experience of how teaching the same subject, Childhood Development, to two groups of Pedagogy students at Universidad Panamericana, can be so different when information and communication technology (ICT) is used and when it is not. The main objective was to determine how the teaching-learning process was improved when ICT´s were implemented in diverse class activities, and its impact on students´ academic achievement.

The research was done through a comparative methodology. The same activities were planned for both groups, but the first one had to accomplish them without using technological resources, while the other one had to fulfill the same activities using, exclusively, ICT´s such as smart boards, tablets, Google Docs, Web-quests, social networks, among others.

Results showed how using these technological resources facilitate the students´ motivation, comprehension and learning of the subject contents, while this was harder to achieve with the group that didn´t use ICT resources. Findings also reflect how technology made it easier for the teacher to evaluate the students´ achievement, how it improved the assignments quality, groups discussions, teacher-students interaction, among other benefits.

Still, both groups´ grading average at the end of the semester was practically the same. The model of analysis and results, although specific for the case, can be useful to reflections on the way information and communication technologies transform teaching-learning processes and allow to innovate in education methodologies that respond to the 21st century context. Still, ICT´s will always remain resources. It is the teacher´s ability to awaken the students´ interest towards learning through different strategies that leads them to the best possible achievement.