Computers 'Do Not Improve' Pupil Results, Says OECD

Education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen "no noticeable improvement" in Pisa test results for reading, mathematics or science.

By By Sean Coughlan, Education correspondent
BBC News

Sept. 22, 2015 - Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils' performance, says a global study from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.

The OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised "too many false hopes".

Tom Bennett, the government's expert on pupil behaviour, said teachers had been "dazzled" by school computers.

The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills.

It says education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen "no noticeable improvement" in Pisa test results for reading, mathematics or science.

Unplugged

"If you look at the best-performing education systems, such as those in East Asia, they've been very cautious about using technology in their classrooms," said Mr Schleicher.

"Those students who use tablets and computers very often tend to do worse than those who use them moderately."

The report says:

  • Students who use computers very frequently at school get worse results
  • Students who use computers moderately at school, such as once or twice a week, have "somewhat better learning outcomes" than students who use computers rarely
  • The results show "no appreciable improvements" in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in information technology
  • High achieving school systems such as South Korea and Shanghai in China have lower levels of computer use in school
  • Singapore, with only a moderate use of technology in school, is top for digital skills

"One of the most disappointing findings of the report is that the socio-economic divide between students is not narrowed by technology, perhaps even amplified," said Mr Schleicher.

Read the full story at: BBC News

SOURCE: BBC News