Computers in Classrooms Don't Guarantee Better Education: Report: Teaching with Computers Not Working Yet: Report

By Oliveira, Michael | The Canadian Press, February 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

Computers in Classrooms Don't Guarantee Better Education: Report: Teaching with Computers Not Working Yet: Report


Oliveira, Michael, The Canadian Press


TORONTO - Kids love using computers and gadgets in the classroom but the technology has not made them better learners, suggests a report released Wednesday.

The non-profit Media Awareness Network interviewed a small sample of plugged-in elementary and high school teachers from across Canada and found there's work to be done to better incorporate technology into schools.

The report suggests many students aren't really as good at using the Internet as it may seem. While it's assumed today's kids are quick to learn how to use computers, the authors found many students are great at social media or finding something to watch on YouTube but their digital skills end there.

Teachers reported that some of their kids had a hard time effectively using search engines like Google and weren't able to consistently sort out valuable sources from the clutter on the web.

"Digital literacy is not about technical proficiency but about developing the critical thinking skills that are central to lifelong learning and citizenship," the report states.

"I don't think students are all that Internet-savvy," reported a high school teacher from the East Coast.

"They're locked into using it in particular ways and don't think outside the box."

The finding wasn't particularly surprising, said Matthew Johnson, director of education for the Media Awareness Network.

"It's something we've seen before but this really underlined it. I always like to draw a distinction between literacy and fluency," he explained.

"When we watch a young person sit down on the computer and open a dozen different screens and do a dozen different things at once, we're really seeing (digital) fluency -- the same fluency that lets a 10-year-old talk a mile a minute. …

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