Examining the Relationship between Students’ Mathematics Test Scores and Computer Use at Home and at School

Laura O'Dwyer, Michael Russell, Damian Bebell, Kevon R. Tucker-Seeley


Over the past decade, standardized test results have become the primary tool used to judge the effectiveness of schools and educational programs, and today, standardized testing serves as the keystone for educational policy at the state and federal levels. This paper examines the relationship between fourth grade mathematics achievement and technology use at home and at school. Using item level achievement data, individual student’s state test scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), and student and teacher responses to detailed technology-use surveys, this study examines the relationship between technology-use and mathematics performance among 986 regular students, from 55 intact fourth grade classrooms in 25 schools across 9 school districts in Massachusetts. The findings from this study suggest that various uses of technology are differentially related to student outcomes and that in general, student and teacher technology uses are weakly related to mathematics achievement on the MCAS. Implications for improving methods for examining the relationship between technology use and standardized test scores are presented.


Technology use; mathematics; MCAS; HLM; standardized test scores; assessment; learning; computer

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