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Technology Adoption in Education: Usage, Spillovers and Student Achievement
Last registered on August 08, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Technology Adoption in Education: Usage, Spillovers and Student Achievement
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001220
Initial registration date
May 06, 2016
Last updated
August 08, 2016 10:47 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Columbia University Teachers College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2013-11-01
End date
2014-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The end users of new technologies may be distinct from the government administrators in control of procurement. Given growing spending on education technologies in particular, an important question is whether these products, once purchased, are adopted by their end users and are effective in practice. This paper studies the adoption, diffusion, and effects of one type of technology that has received large private-sector investments: school-to-parent communication technologies. Previous research shows that that providing detailed information to parents about their child's academic performance can improve student achievement. Many school districts accomplish this at scale via technology that places student information online, but the adoption of this technology by parents is unknown.

This paper uses data from a Learning Management System and a two-stage experiment to study the adoption of this technology by parents along extensive and intensive margins, as well as spillovers and effects on student outcomes. I find that a quarter of parents ever use this technology; adoption follows an "S" shape; significant spillovers can occur along intensive but not extensive margins; and there is evidence student grades improve as a result.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
BERGMAN, PETER. 2016. "Technology Adoption in Education: Usage, Spillovers and Student Achievement." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1220-2.0.
Former Citation
BERGMAN, PETER. 2016. "Technology Adoption in Education: Usage, Spillovers and Student Achievement." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1220/history/10001.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The primary experimental intervention consisted of a mailer and a phone call. The mailer informed families about the parent portal, that they will be called regarding the parent portal service, and provided the school phone number so parents can obtain their account information directly from the school. The subsequent phone call to parents told families their user name, password and the website URL for the parent portal. As described later, the script for this phone call was randomized.
Intervention Start Date
2013-11-01
Intervention End Date
2014-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Parent portal usage and student outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
First randomization at the school level then randomization at the individual level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
School than individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
59
Sample size: planned number of observations
21,000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
30
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Columbia Univeristy
IRB Approval Date
2016-08-08
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers