The recently published OECD Report “Students, Computers and Learning: Making The Connection” is food for thought for researchers, teachers and public authorities. The data collected and analysed by OECD in this report, in fact, reveal that “countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science”.
Someone maybe was surprised by reading that “Students who use computers moderately at school tend to be somewhat more skilled in online reading than students who rarely use computers. But students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in reading, even after accounting for students’ background”.
But this is something that we already know: Increasing the use of ICT tools and computers at school is not “per se” the solution to improve the level of proficiency of students. ICT should be integrated into effective teaching and learning environments, and teachers and pedagogy are still the key elements for an effective learning.
The report also highlights disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged students in digital reading – which are very similar to the differences in the traditional reading test, despite the vast majority of students using computers whatever their background.
This it to say: to reduce inequalities in digital skills, we need to improve equity in education first.