The BBC has recently reported that ‘investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils’ performance’. The have looked at a recent global report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in this regard.

The report examines the impact of school technology in more than 70 countries. The major finding according to the BBC is that ‘education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen “no noticeable improvement” in test results for reading, mathematics or science’.

BBC interviewed the OECD director, Andreas Schleicher, who said: “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”.

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

The report states that:

  • Students who use computers very frequently at school get worse results than their peers
  • 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
  • There is no single country in which the internet is used frequently at school by a majority of students and where students’ performance improved.


The BBC continued:

“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.

He said making sure all children have a good grasp of reading and maths is a more effective way to close the gap than “access to hi-tech devices”

He warned that classroom technology can be a distraction and result in pupils cutting and pasting “prefabricated” homework answers from the internet.

Among the seven countries with the highest level of internet use in school, it found three experienced “significant declines” in reading performance – Australia, New Zealand and Sweden – and three more had results that had “stagnated” – Spain, Norway and Denmark.

The countries and cities with the lowest use of the internet in school – South Korea, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan – are among the top performers in international tests.


-You can read the full article here.