Technology in the schools, help or hindrance?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned that the use of technology in schools may be doing more harm than good.

In a study of education systems in more than 30 countries, it found students who use computers very frequently at school do “a lot worse” academically than students who use them moderately.

It found that countries that have invested heavily in information and communications technology in schools show no appreciable improvement in student achievement.

Some Irish schools and families have spent substantial amounts of money in recent years on computer tablets, software and other IT equipment for students.

But the OECD analysis calls into question the wisdom of such investment.

It finds that the benefits for children are at best not clear, at worst actually damaging.

While limited use of computers in schools may be better than no use at all, above average use is associated with significantly poorer results, it finds.

Its data shows that countries that have invested less in computers in schools have seen faster academic improvement than countries that have invested more.