Computer Use and Student Achievement

Students, Computers and Learning from the OECD examines, inter alia, the digital divide in various countries as well as stipulating that basic literacy and numeracy skills must be in place before technology can make a difference. The document also focuses on some countries; the United States is represented with this observation: “In 2012, schools in the United States serving 15-year-olds had about five school computers available for every nine students. The students-per-computer ratio of 1.8-to-1 is one of the lowest among the 34 OECD countries.” The executive summary contains important charts on ICT use at home and at school; the entire report is populated with figures and graphs. One of the key international findings is: “Over the past 10 years, there has been no appreciable improvement in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science, on average, in countries that have invested heavily in information and communication technologies for education. In 2012, in the vast majority of countries, students who used computers moderately at school had somewhat better learning outcomes than students who used computers rarely; but students who used computers very frequently at school did a lot worse, even after accounting for the students’ socio-economic status.” Please peruse this Wall Street Journal article: Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Education Results, OECD Says. The LA Times has: The surprising thing about schools with lots of technology.

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