Technology does not make school students more intelligent: study
School pupils’ academic results tend not to noticeably improve and can even hamper functionality, an OECD report said that looked at the effect of technology in classrooms around the globe.
While nearly three quarters of students in the countries surveyed used computers at schools, the report by the the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found technology had made no noticeable improvement in results.
Conversely, in the classrooms, technology was far less prevalent in high-attaining schools in areas of Asia, where computers and smartphones have turned into an integral section of people’s everyday lives.
In South Korea, students used computers for an average of nine minutes at school as well as in Hong Kong, only 11 minutes — just a portion of the 58 minutes spent in Australia, 42 in Greece and 39 in Sweden.
“Where computers are found in the classroom, their impact on student performance is mixed at best,” OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher said in a foreword to the report, the think-tank’s first on the subject.”
“Pupils who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning results, even after accounting for social heritage and student demographics.”
The report quantified the effect of technology use at school on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in dozens of states around the world and other assessments measuring digital abilities of the OECD.
It found that education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen “no noticeable improvement” in results for reading, math or science.
The OECD urged schools to work to turn technology into a more powerful tool in the classroom and develop more advanced software for experimentation and simulation, social media and games.
“The real contributions ICT can make to teaching and learning have yet to be fully realised and exploited,” it concluded.