Thursday, December 9, 2004

Students who use computers perform worse

Betsy links to a UK Register article about the use of computers in schools. According to the study cited:
  • Students who use computers frequently at school perform worse than their peers at math and reading
  • Those using computers several times a week at school perform "sizably and statistically significantly worse" than those who use them less often
  • The more computers in student's home, the better the student's literacy performance
  • The more computers student's home, the worse the student's math performance
  • Computer ability is not related to student performance
Betsy, a public school teacher, concludes:
[T]he kids are spending more time on the bells and whistles and less time just learning the basic rules of math and practicing until they know their times tables instantaneously or simply just reading books. Kids managed to learn all this before the invention of the computers. The problems today will not be solved with more computers in schools.
Yep, exactly.

My local school district has repeatedly received national recognition for being one of the most technologically advanced districts in the country, yet student achievement remains poor. We've got to stop wasting so much time and money seeking new ways to reach kids and simply go back to the basics.

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