Students Who Use the Most Technology to Learn Also Perform the Worst

Kids also need to be taught technology habits to get the most out of the Internet.


Technology isn't a replacement for learning — it's up to teachers to show students how to use it effectively. A recent study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) underscored this point when its results indicated “[s]tudents who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after accounting for social background and student demographics."

The outcome of this study isn't suggesting technology is bad, explained Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Directorate of Education and Skills. “Technology can amplify good teaching, but it can’t replace poor teaching.”

 “Technology often increases the efficiency of already-efficient processes, but it may also make inefficient processes even more so.”

What it shows, the researchers explain, is some schools may not be using technology to its fullest capabilities. It's important to teach kids how they should go about using technology to better themselves. The report read: “Technology often increases the efficiency of already-efficient processes, but it may also make inefficient processes even more so.”

The results of OECD’s study leaves us with a lot of questions about what kinds of habits we should be teaching, so we can get the most out of technology. For instance, too much Internet time has been shown to rob people of that reflective time, which is necessary to boost creativity. Likewise, teachers have found its better to ban smartphones and laptops from classrooms in favor of traditional pen and paper note-taking, simply because it leads to better performance.

Nicholas Carr, author of The Glass Cage: Automation and Us and The Shallows, says it's all about creating good Internet habits. I.e., when to engage and when to separate ourselves from it:

The world and workforce need wisdom. Why don’t universities teach it?

Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?

Photo: Take A Pix Media / Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
  • The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
  • These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
Keep reading Show less

What the world will look like in the year 250,002,018

This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now

On Pangaea Proxima, Lagos will be north of New York, and Cape Town close to Mexico City
Surprising Science

To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.

Keep reading Show less

From zero to hero in 18 years: How SpaceX became a nation-state

SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrates after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Earlier in the day NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley lifted off an inaugural flight and will be the first people since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 to be launched into space from the United States.

Photo:Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • SpaceX was founded in 2002 and was an industry joke for many years. Eighteen years later, it is the first private company to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • Today, SpaceX's Crew Dragon launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. The journey will take about 19 hours.
  • Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, looks at SpaceX's journey from startup to a commercial space company with the operating power of a nation-state.
Keep reading Show less

Six-month-olds recognize (and like) when they’re being imitated

A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.

Personal Growth
  • Scientists speculate imitation helps develop social cognition in babies.
  • A new study out of Lund University shows that six-month-olds look and smile more at imitating adults.
  • Researchers hope the data will spur future studies to discover what role caregiver imitation plays in social cognition development.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…