Quantity versus quality: A new approach to examine the relationship between technology use and student outcomes
Abstract The author argues that to examine the relationship between technology use and student outcomes, the quality of technology use—how, and what, technology is used—is a more significant factor than the quantity of technology use—how much technology is used. This argument was exemplified by an empirical study that used both angles to examine the association between technology use and student outcomes. When only the quantity of technology use was examined, no significant association was observed. However, when the quality of technology was examined by investigating the specific types of technology uses, a significant association was identified between technology use and all student outcomes. Furthermore, different types of technology use showed different influences on specific student outcomes. General technology uses were positively associated with student technology proficiency, while subject-specific technology uses were negatively associated with student technology proficiency. Social-communication technology uses were significantly positively associated with developmental outcomes such as self-esteem and positive attitude towards school. Entertainment/exploration technology use showed significant positive association with student learning habits. None of these technology uses had significant influence on student academic outcome. Specific suggestions for integrating technology into schools and future research were provided.