Our research recently published by the Policy & Internet magazine (Gui, Parma and Comi, 2018) shows how from 2010 to 2014 the introduction of technologies (i.e. LIM, wi-fi and mobile) in Italian secondary schools had no relevant effects on students’ learning level in general. There are only slightly positive effects in specific sub-samples, such as in specific geographic area (i.e. norther Italy) or as well as in specific subjects (i.e. Math). Paradoxically other cases recorded negative effects caused by learning technology, as happened for southern Italy.
In another study (Comi, Argentin, Gui, Origo, Pagani, 2017) we evaluated which digital activities work better at school. Media education activities (i.e. discussing media use with students) and the use of technology by teachers to support lesson progams seems to have positive effects. On the contrary the direct use technology by students in classroom did not show any benefits.
Furthermore, in a third study we used a specific test to evaluate the impact of students’ digital skills on their INVALSI learning performances (Pagani, Argentin, Gui and Stanca, 2016). In this case results show a positive and significant effects of digital competencies on students performance, which increase in specific sub-samples.
At this research stage we can affirm that the generalized investment in hardware did not have the expected impacts, but benefits are reported in those cases in which the hardware has been integrated in a specific educational strategy. Moreover our evidences highlight that teachers can better prepare their lesson programs if they are able to use properly online information.
Anyhow, these results have to be taken partially, both for the multiplicity of factors involved, but especially because current studies are not enough consolidated to draw clear conclusions. In this context our project aims to develop further analysis which concern the implementation of technology for and in learning practices.