[REPORT] Students Who Use Tech in School Don’t Fare Better

Excellent teaching still key to student learning

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In spite of the widespread belief that technology improves student learning, evidence that supports the idea is scarce. Yet it persists and is attracting big money. According to the Hechinger Report’s “Blended Learning” newsletter, which cites a report released by BMO Financial Group, more than $10.7 billion was spent on K-12 educational technology this year in the United States. Was that money well spent? In spite of the lack of evidence that it works, the use of educational technology to augment, support, and extend classroom teaching is increasing.

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According to the newsletter, students who use computers the most in school do not fare better than those who do not; in some instances they fare worse. “Blended Learning” cites a new report released Sept. 14 by the OECD-PISA, the summary of which says, in part, “One interpretation of these findings is that it takes educators time and effort to learn how to use technology in education while staying firmly focused on student learning. … In the end, technology can amplify great teaching, but great technology cannot replace poor teaching.”

The following is quoted on an infographic developed by the OECD-PISA: “On average, in the past 10 years there has been no appreciable improvement in student achievement in reading, mathematics, or science in the countries that have invested heavily in information and communication technologies for education.”

Do you agree with the OECD’s assessment? Do you think technology helps your child to learn, to improve in reading or math? What technology is available in your child’s school? Does the teacher use it effectively? Is some technology better than others? Leave your comments below.