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Educational Technology use among home-schooled students and its effect on academic achievement

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Homeschooling and the effect on ACT composite scores
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Educational Technology use among homeschooled students and its effect on academic achievement
Part one:
Technology and the impact it has had in all aspects of human life is profound. Technology continues to redefine the business landscape with the growth and expansion of e-commerce. However, even though little has been discussed concerning the impact technology has had on education, it goes without saying that technology is at the heart of educational practices and learning. Technology facilitates learning and continues to shape the education system in terms of instructional practices and available learning resources. Homeschooling as a schooling concept has been available for generations. However, since the 1980s, its popularity has been growing and an estimated two million students in the United States alone are going through the homeschooling system. With the growth of popularity of e-learning, especially in higher institutions of learning, the e-learning culture will soon be integrated into the educational systems for the younger generations. Recent research continues to reveal that educational technology has a major impact on the learning of the homeschooled children as well as those in the public learning institutions (Biagi & Loi, 2013). A lot of discussions have been centered on the level of preparedness of homeschooled children when comparing their performance to the performance of the public schooled children.

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This study will focus on the impact that using educational technology has had on homeschooled children and how the educational technology used in their education has affected their grades and learning outcomes.
In this paper, the researcher will evaluate past research studies done concerning the homeschooling system and the role that technology has played in enhancing the homeschooling system. Homeschooling is facilitated by personal trainers and major parental involvement. This may have been the case in the 1980s or in the periods prior to that, however, with the growth of technology and the integration of technology into the curricula, the effect of technology has grown and ranks as a major determinant in determining the level of education achieved by homeschooled children. Some researchers, however, have had other ideas regarding the role the technology use has had on student performance as related to accessing the curriculum and in meeting standards-based educational objectives. Technology has also contributed some additional support for students by providing career planning tools that assesses students’ academic readiness for college; the ACT and SAT. Researchers argue that the good performance witnessed in the national ACT scores has been due to other reasons and not due to the media. They have suggested other reasons for the homeschooled students’ academic readiness such as tutors’ diligence, and specific softwares used in the homeschooled programs (Spiezia, 2011). However, such studies have been limited to determining the cost difference in the use of technology between the home-based scholars and the scholars attending either private or public schools.
For purposes of this research proposal, the ‘homeschooling students’ will be used to refer to all the students that do not attend normal learning in either public or private schools. The educational technology will be used to refer to a number of media. These will include computers, cell phones, computer networks as well as multimedia usage in improving the classroom experience. The research will examine the cost factor, the cost of acquiring technology for homeschooled students, as well as how the acquired technology has helped determine the level of investment in the different groups of students. The study will use the Oklahoma region as the location of the study. The homeschooled children that will be referred to in the paper will, ideally, be referring to the Oklahoma population of over 100 students that are not attending institutions of learning, either private or public. This research will use a survey that will be administered to parents of Oklahoma students that are enrolled in homeschooled programs. Parents of homeschooled juniors and seniors in Oklahoma will be targeted to determine various factors in the homeschooling system. The survey will be used to determine the level of investments that the parents have put into the homeschooling system, the level of control that the parents have over the media used in the homeschooling system. The tutors used in the home schooling system will also be assessed via the parents. The criteria the parents use in assessing the tutors and finally choosing the best tutor for the position will be determined and used to make actual conclusions as the environments that surround and that inspire the home schooling efforts. The education system will be used, largely, to refer to various information technologies such as the World Wide Web, the DVD-ROMs as well as flash disks. The type of research that has been chosen for this study will take a quantitative approach, and the primary data will be analyzed for evidence-based conclusions. A conceptual framework that will aid the study is included below.

Article Critiques
Article one Title: Does Computer Use Increase Educational Achievements? Student-level Evidence from PISA
Article URL:
The article discusses the assessment of students in the international spectrum and examines the role of Information Technology in education, specifically in the homeschooling sector. In the program for international student assessment (PISA) carried out by OECD in 2006, the role of ICT in educating home-based students was critically assessed. The article reveals that in recent years, there has been growing enthusiasm about the role of ICT in elevating the level of educational achievements. Both Policymakers and the academic researchers have been enthusiastic in the media and have contributed to the debate on ICT in the education sector. However, these two groups have shown contrasting views on the role of ICT in the education sector. While the policymakers are campaigning for ICT to play a bigger role in the education sector and believe that the future of the education sector will, largely, be shaped by the ICT sector, the academic researchers argue that there is little evidence to support the argument that ICT has led to better achievements in the education sector (Spiezia, 2011).
In the assessment of the contribution that the technology has had on students, the article identifies inherent issues that are present in any program evaluation. The groups under comparison are not exactly alike. The difference in context and culture, as well as location, contributes towards determining performance levels. It is, therefore, difficult to single out the exact contribution that ICT plays in improving the education sector.
The article, however, seeks to analyze previous studies to determine the conclusion that previous scholars into the topic have determined. The article claims that the researchers have kept the focus and assessment of ICT in education for the past two decades. The article also identifies that recent research has focused more on online activities and the role of the internet while the previous studies focused on the technological aspects. According to the studies, the introduction of the technology aspects into the classes has had both positive impacts as well as negative impacts. While the article recognizes that technology avails higher accessibility to resources to the students, it also denies the students an opportunity to use other effective teaching methods that have been tried and tested in the past.
The article identifies a condition that needs to be present before a school can reap any benefits from integrating a technological approach into their curricula. The capability of the schools to integrate their curricula and to adapt the technology aspect to complement their learning methods determines the benefits that the schools can receive from ICT. The theory, in this case, is that the technology impact on the schools depends on the specific use of the technology in the schools and the environment of use of this technology.
The article analyzes a number of past studies and efforts in implementing technology solutions in schools. The article identifies a major hurdle in past projects in which investment in the school for the computer technology solution did not lead to any identifiable benefits after its implementation.
The article concludes that there is a positive influence on science scores that can be attributed to computer usage. The conclusion is based on a number of studies in Europe that reveals that countries that have more computer lessons in their curricula performed better in the sciences than students in countries in which their curricula had a fewer number of computer classes. According to the article, it is obvious that the scores improved with more usage of computer classes.
Article Two Title: Technology and the Homeschooler
Article URL:
The article reveals that homeschooled students have been studied for a quite a while. The majority of these studies have often concentrated on the level of preparedness of the students with regard to the exams or their level of socialization. The basis of the studies was arguments that suggested that in a home learning environment, the students lacked as much socialization as the students who attended private or public learning institutions. The other argument that often leads to such researches was the notion that the level of preparedness to exams was different in the homeschooling system as compared to that in the normal schooling system. The article begins by identifying that a recent scholar, in their research, concluded that technology had a positive impact on the level of education of the students in question.
The article recognizes the major impact that is being played by technology in the modern era. E-commerce is identified as the main beneficiary of technological advancements, but also prophesies that the education sector will feel the same impact in the long run. The aim of the article is to examine the homeschooled children and the unique efforts that the students, as well as the parents, take in the utilization of technology towards the betterment of their grades and educational levels.
The article, in its literature review, recognizes that the homeschooling concept is a growing concept whose popularity is growing in ‘leaps and bounds.’ In the researches, identified in the literature background, it is claimed that the homeschooled children are exceptionally prepared for college. The level of preparedness could not be compared to that seen in the students schooling in public or private institutions. The studies conducted into the homeschooling phenomena conclude that homeschooling is associated with better academic levels. The studies also claim that the homeschoolers enjoyed more maturity, socially, emotionally and psychologically due to their level of preparedness.
In the article, other studies also identify consistent results from the use of technology. For instance, the article identifies one study that claims that the accessibility to the internet had the instant impact on the homeschooling system as it offered them instant access to a wide range of resources. In the article, it is noted that there has been little research on the link that technology and homeschooling enjoy. However, there is considerable literature on studies that researched on the role of technology on the college learning students. Web-based solutions, in this case, provide a number of studies with the factor used in determining the linkage between the schooling aspects and technology.
The article identifies several factors that are determinants in the effectiveness of technology in the classroom. The level of awareness of the tutor and their methods in integrating technology in disseminating knowledge is a big determinant in achieving success for technology enthusiasts. However, the article notes that further research is required to determine the exact impact that modern technology has on the homeschooling system and how the technology affects the national examination scores.
The article concludes by pointing out that the perception by both the parent and the student in the homeschooling environment are crucial in determining the level of usage of technology and the effectiveness of the used technology. The article seeks to improve the understanding in the public arena regarding the use of technology and how it can effectively be used in improving the educational benefits to people considering homeschooling.
The information gathered in both of the aforementioned article critiques will be crucial in the development of my dissertation. In the first article, the usage of computers in education is empirically assessed to determine the benefits that the use of computers has on the education of the students. The article analyzes various studies in order to determine the patterns that have emerged on the link between the use of computers in education and the performance on test scores. In conclusion, the article identifies that the science scores, in particular, are higher in students enjoying more learning time on the computer. The information is crucial in the development of my dissertation. My dissertation seeks to delve into the same topic and dig deeper into the role of educational technology in homeschooling systems and how the technology shapes the achievements of these students. However, my dissertation will narrow down on the Oklahoma region.
In the second article, the perception of both the student and the parent in the homeschooling system are considered, and their contribution towards determining the effectiveness of technology in the homeschooling system is considered. The article concludes that both of these people’s perceptions determine the choice of technology, and subsequently determine the level of effectiveness of the chosen technology towards achieving better grades. The research in this article will help inform my interest in educational technology and its impact on improving the academic achievements of the students using the homeschooling system.
Alias, N., Rahman, M. N. A., Siraj, S., & Ibrahim, R. (2013). A Model of Homeschooling Based on Technology in Malaysia. The Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10.
Biagi, F., & Loi, M. (2013). Measuring ICT use and learning outcomes: Evidence from recent econometric studies. European Journal of Education, 48 (1), 28-42.
Neil, T., & Bonner, N. A. Technology and the Homeschooler.
Spiezia, V. (2011). Does computer use increase educational achievements? Student-level evidence from PISA. OECD Journal: Economic Studies, 2010 (1), 1-22.

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