A new report has concluded that investment in technology does not improve classroom results in a variety of subjects. Indeed, students who spend more time using computers at school have worse learning outcomes.
A study published by the OECD on Tuesday showed that computers in the classroom do not improve school performance and it some cases can even hinder it. The report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development looked at the impact of technology in schools from around the globe and found that while around seventy-five percent of pupils in the countries surveyed use computers at school, there was no noteworthy improvement in results.
While students in Western countries spend more time using technology during school time - 58 minutes a day in Australia, 42 in Greece and 39 in Sweden - it is in parts of Asia, where technology is an integral part of life outside school but relatively absent in classroom hours, where some of the highest-performing schools can be found.
"Students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after accounting for social background and student demographics," said OECD Education Director Andrea Schleicher, calling the impact of tech in the classroom "mixed at best."
The study measured the impact of technology use at school on international test results, including tests for determining digital skills. Education systems which have heavily invested in information and communications technology recorded "no noticeable improvement" in reading, mathematics and science.
The OECD encouraged schools and teachers to work together to tap better technology’s potential to be a more powerful tool for learning.
"The real contributions ICT can make to teaching and learning have yet to be fully realized and exploited," the report concluded.
es/jil (AFP, dpa)