Education technology is proliferating. However, little evidence shows that technology actually raises student achievement. In this paper, we examine the impact of one such technology, the Kindle e-reader, on reading outcomes in a middle school classroom in Boston. In particular, we conduct a randomized pilot study with 57 students. We evaluate a 10-week reading enrichment program, in which students received Kindle e-readers as well as twice-a-week after-school mentorship. Our estimates suggest that e-readers more than double out-of-school reading hours for males, with an increase in reading of 143.3 percent, and no significant effect for females. This effect translates into large but insignificant effects on test scores. These pilot results indicate that more evidence on e-readers might show large effects on reading behavior and test scores for certain low-income subgroups.
The paper is by Noam Angrist. And, from the conclusions:
Effects further tend to diminish once students no longer have access to the mentorship component of the program, as well as decreased book subsides and increased Internet distractions.