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More money’s being spent on classroom tech upgrades than ever before. Is the investment worth it?
Maybe not. A new report from Slate magazine argues that technology doesn’t improve education:
“In most of the highest-performing systems, technology is remarkably absent from classrooms,” says Andreas Schleicher, education analyst for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“I have no explanation why that is the case, but it does seem that those systems place their efforts primarily on pedagogical practice rather than digital gadgets.”
According to Kristin DeJesus, an American high schooler studying in South Korea through an international study program: “In California, we use white boards, while in Korea they use chalkboards. We have a projector, but that’s about it.”
DeJesus and her Korean classmates work on computers in school once a week, in computer class.
Technology is better, results aren’t
Despite the technology gap, South Korea consistently ranks at or near the top every year in international exams. In math and science, American high schoolers score in the middle of the pack among other countries.
Technology can be a great educational tool — but it’s not the panacea some experts contend. Including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:
“In the 21st century, schools can’t be throwbacks to the state of education 50, 20, or even 10 years ago. We must make on-demand, personalized tech applications that are part of students’ daily lives a more strategic part of their academic lives.”
Fifty years ago, America’s schools were producing much better students than today. You could Google it, Mr. Duncan.
Is technology helping students learn more? Share your take in the comments section.