May 21, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Computers In Classrooms Show "No Appreciable Improvements" --Research

Sep 16, 2015 10:12 PM EDT

Contrary to the aim of providing a quality education to students, a study shows that using information and communication technology (ICT) devices to bring digital age to classrooms shows no beneficial impacts. In fact, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ICT's impact on students is "mixed at best."

Nearly three-quarters of the 64 countries surveyed said that they used computer at school. However, between 2000 and 2012, countries like Spain, Sweden and Australia revealed a drop in reading performance among students. This is in congruence with OECD's findings that use of ICT has "no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT for education."

In Asian countries like South Korea and Hong Kong, a student roughly spends nine and ten minutes, respectively, on computer when at school, that is just a small percentage from Australia's 58, Greece's 42, and Sweden's 39 minutes. Given this, result showed that children who spend less time on computer in school were among the top of the class particularly in the fields of reading and computer-based mathematics tests.

OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher found the results disheartening because it implies that technology is not traversing skills between advantaged and disadvantaged students especially with big sum of budget allocated like schools in the UK. According to a British Education Supplier Association report, this year the schools in the country are expecting to spend £623 million on ICT, with £95m on software and digital content.

"In the end, technology can amplify great teaching, but great technology cannot replace poor teaching," Schleicher said.

Hal Pery, PEI's Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister cited that with proper implementation and guidance, "technology can have a huge impact on student achievement and engagement."

On the other hand, OECD analyst Francesco Avvisati stated "it is important that educators remain in the driver's seat, so to speak, when introducing technology in classrooms, that technology is not becoming too prominent - because it can distract."

"[Technology is] more an amplifier and it's a tool for good teachers rather than a magic wand which transforms bad teachers into good ones," he added.

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