With the pending phasing out of textbooks in favor of tablets and ebooks following the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte, we can’t help but feel optimistic about this development. However, contrary to the listed advantages of going digital in education, a study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says otherwise.

OECD’s education director Andreas Schelicher says school technology had raised “too many false hopes.”

In an international study conducted by the organization, investing profoundly in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupil’s performance. In fact, frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.

Source: Strait Times

The study examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the PISA test taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills. It concluded that education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have ‘no noticeable improvement’ in international tests results.

Source: OECD

Surprisingly, the report reveals that students who use computers very frequently at school get worse results, while those who use them in moderation have ‘somewhat better learning outcomes’. Countries which have lower levels of computer use in schools such as South Korea and Shanghai, China have high achieving school systems.

It is also note-worthy that Singapore has top the countries for digital skills with students only using technology at school moderately.

“One of the most disappointing findings of the report is that the socio-economic divide between students is not narrowed by technology, perhaps even amplified,” said Mr Schleicher.

He added that classroom technology can become a distraction and result in students cutting and pasting ‘prefabricated’ homework answers from the internet. He advised that making sure all children should have a good grasp of reading and math as an effective way to close the gap than ‘access to high-tech devices.’

With the country gearing towards digitalizing the Philippine education system, it is quite important to consider possible advantages and drawbacks. After all, the government will be investing billions to make it possible, thus research should be done to acquire optimized results.

Source: BBC News