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Research,  July 12, 2005

Online field trips boost reading scores

"A free collection of online field trips and other web-based learning materials has been shown to boost reading levels and help improve test scores among middle-school students, according to the results of a scientifically based research study from Maryland Public Television (MPT).

Approximately 400 seventh and eighth graders from two Maryland public middle schools--one urban, one rural--participated in the study, which took place during the 2003-04 school year and was released in late April. The study showed that seventh and eighth graders who used three online field trips--each specifically developed by MPT for social studies and language arts--scored higher on a national standardized reading comprehension test than those who used traditional learning methods alone.

Though relatively small in size and scope, the study's findings could have national implications for educators who embrace the internet as a tool for learning, executives at the nonprofit television station believe. Every teacher across the country, they say, can access these same resources at no cost by logging on to MPT's educational web site,

'The study shows that some of the new ways we are teaching with technology are helping our students to succeed,' noted Cathy Townsend, principal of Salisbury Middle School, one of the study's participants."

Posted by wrivenburgh on July 12, 2005 | Research