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:


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: SAM YEH / Getty Staff

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less