Students who use computers a lot do much worse at PISA tests

This is the shocking conclusion of the 2015 OECD’s report “Students, computers and learning: making the connection”.

The report says that even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science.

Students using moderately computers in schools do better than those never using them, but students who use computers very frequently at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.

Does it mean that we should do about face and stop using technology in the classroom? No, we just need to find better modes to integrate technology in teaching and learning. Children do need technology to live in the XXIst century, but most of the skills required for online navigation can also be taught by “analogic” methods. Paraphrasing again the report, “… to reduce inequalities in digital skills, countries need to improve equity in education first”.

For me, this means we should not remain oblivious to the content and the way we learn it, and to return protagonism to teachers as mediators between students and learning.

Appending 21st-century technologies to 20th-century teaching practices will not improve learning” (Topalidou)

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