More computers = less learning

I’m researching for an article about IT use and its effect on numeracy and literacy and I’ve been shocked at what I’ve found.

Basically Australia has more computers in classrooms than any other country in the world. We also have the biggest drop in real terms of our PISA results. Correlation or causation? These graphs from a 2015 OECD report tell you everything you need to know:

Table 1. Trends in mathematics performance and number of computers in schools (OECD, 2015)


Table 2. Frequency of computer use at school and digital reading skills (OECD, 2015)


There is a negative correlation between computers in classrooms and literacy and numeracy.

I was shocked. The big unanswered question now is: why have we spent so much money and time on computers in classrooms without proof they help learning? Even more worrying, now we know they actually hinder learning, are any of our institutions courageous enough to start restricting their use?

I’m not holding my breath.


Leave a Reply