Saturday, April 15, 2006

More on Laptops for Students

Just what I suspected:
Give a kid a laptop and it might not make any difference.
That's the message from research presented here Monday, which suggests that spending millions of dollars to bring technology into kids' homes and schools has decidedly mixed results.

Taxpayer-supported school computer and Internet giveaways are political gold, but studies have questioned whether they actually help student achievement. This research, presented at the American Educational Research Association's annual meeting, confirms skeptics' doubts.

* * *

But using computers, for instance, to teach reading in primary grades actually showed negative results.

Technology giveaways aren't limited to U.S. schools. Researchers in England studied 80 schools that had received electronic "whiteboards," computerized chalkboards that allow teachers to use special markers for lessons. The $2,000 whiteboards also allow them to save their work to a computer and even surf the Internet with a class. Researchers found that teachers and students like them, but that they have a "very small and short-lived" effect on skills.


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