This week the OECD (which is a club of 34 mainly European countries) published a study of computer use in education. The whole study is a very interesting read but I have a concern that the media in OECD countries may distort the findings to make simplistic summaries about the impact of technology on education and being prepared for the world of work as opposed to impact on test scores, which is what the article was about. Lazy commentators will go on about the importance of reading, writing, numeracy and (hopefully) interpersonal skills but they may forget that, while they are right about this, the context in which these skills are now applied is technology driven and young people must be ready for that. As the report itself says “Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge”.
I was reminded of the importance of technology when I took a Spanish lesson this week while Ms Rojas was in Hong Kong on International Baccalaureate training. The students were asked to do a research project and one of the class was working near the wall as she needed power for her phone to do the research. Whereas my teachers would have lent me chalk to write on the board and I used to lend students pens to write in their books I now find myself lending students a way of making sure their phones or tablets have enough power to do the task they need to do in class. Depending upon the development of battery technology, we may find ourselves adding a power charger to our list of equipment needed in school!
Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection
Reference: OECD (2015),
, PISA, OECD Publishing
Mr Christopher Short, Head of Secondary