Digital devices make little difference for primary kids, says study

NZ Herald 21 May 2016
Family First Comment: No surprises. Perhaps the a Education Ministry should have done their homework a bit better before forcing parents to fork out for expensive (and optional) technology.

The boom in iPads and other technologies used in the classroom makes little difference to children’s achievement in their primary years, a new study says.
The study compared two classes of 8-year-old children – one with digital devices and the other tech-free.
It found tests of literacy comprehension at the beginning and end of term showed similar improvements.
“In the Year 4 class the results were very similar, so it didn’t matter whether there was technology or not, they made similar gains,” said study author Dr Jenny Poskitt.
However, the study – to be published in the next edition of the Australian Journal of Middle Schooling – found significant gains from technology as children got older.
“In the Year 5-6, the technology class made three and four times the gains, so they were significantly better than the non-technology,” said Dr Poskitt, senior lecturer in education at Massey University.
The study comes against a backdrop of increasing questions internationally about the role of technology in the classroom.

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