I recently read a very interesting article about how access to technology impacts students’ success. The article, published by the New York Times, was called “Can Students Have Too Much Technology?”. It shared research findings and comments from Duke and Stanford researchers that do not support the idea that handing a kid an internet-connected laptop or device will increase their success in school. Here are some highlights from the article:
- ” ‘Students who gain access to a home computer between the 5th and 8th grades tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and math scores,’ the economists wrote, adding that license to surf the Internet was also linked to lower grades in younger children.
- “With no adults to supervise them, many kids used their networked devices not for schoolwork, but to play games, troll social media and download entertainment.”
- “If children who spend more time with electronic devices are also more likely to be out of sync with their peers’ behavior and learning by the fourth grade, why would adding more viewing and clicking to their school days be considered a good idea?”
- “Even [with highly trained teachers facilitating the use of the technology], we still have no proof that the newly acquired, tech-centric skills that students learn in the classroom transfer to novel problems that they need to solve in other areas. While we’re waiting to find out, the public money spent on wiring up classrooms should be matched by training and mentorship programs for teachers, so that a free and open Internet, reached through constantly evolving, beautifully packaged and compelling electronic tools, helps — not hampers — the progress of children who need help the most.”
What do you think? Have you seen technology help or hinder your students? Tell me what you think in the comments below! :-)