Technology can hurt students’ learning, research shows


Giving school students access to iPads, laptops or e-books in the classroom appears to hurt their learning, new research has found.

However, putting this technology in the hands of a teacher is associated with more positive results.

These are the findings of a major report by the consulting firm McKinsey on the performance of 15-year-old students across Europe.

It is based on an analysis of data gathered as part of Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment).

The findings may influence a rethink of approaches to technology in schools, as well as ambitious Government policies to boost access to technology in the classroom.

While technology can support student learning outside of school, the report found its record inside school is mixed.

In some countries, adding one teacher computer per classroom had more than 10 times the impact on improving educational performance of adding a student computer to that same classroom

Giving students access to e-books, tablet computers and laptops inside the classroom was associated with significantly lower educational performance in the review.

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