Education International
Education International

Computers do not improve pupils’ results

published 16 September 2015 updated 16 September 2015

Technological innovations in the classroom need the active involvement of both pupils and well trained teachers to be a success factor for learning, according to the latest high-level report published on the subject.

Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years, and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences. Based on results from PISA 2012, the report discusses differences in access to and use of ICT – what are collectively known as the “digital divide” – that are related to students’ socio-economic status, gender, geographic location, and the school a child attends.

Eye-opening conclusions

The report highlights the importance of bolstering students’ ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship among computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century.

Education International (EI) welcomes the report’s eye-opening conclusions, which underline that teachers need to be active agents for change in implementing and designing technology innovations and that higher order thinking requires intensive an intensive teacher-student cooperation. John Bangs, senior consultant at EI, has underlined that the report should have gone a step further, since it is evident that without a proper protocol involving teacher unions and governments, ICT companies will continue promoting expensive and irrelevant technologies, whose efficacy is not backed scientifically. According to Bangs, the analysis by the OECD also lacks an in-depth study of the professional development entitlements teachers need in relation to ICT.

For more information you can visit the OECD website.

The findings of the new report are also subject of a presentation by Andreas Schleicher; the presentation is available here.