Schools abandon class laptops
While you would once find a laptop in the bag of just about every school child in Australia, an increasing number of private and public schools have stopped using them. The Digital Education Revolution was promoted by the Federal government with 2.4 billion spent on school laptops, however recent research is showing that despite this investment in the latest technology overall educational outcomes have not improved. In fact, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) education Chief, Andreas Schleicher, told world leaders at a global education forum in April that "the reality is that technology is doing more harm than good in our schools today".
Many private and public schools have already reached this verdict for themselves, taking action to reduce their use of laptops and tablets. This move is backed up by an OECD report showing that countries that have invested heavily in education technology have seen no noticeable improvement in their pupils’ results for reading, mathematics or science.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, St Paul's Catholic College principal Mark Baker said, "computers have been oversold and there is no evidence that it improve outcomes". Weighing into the debate was John Vallance, the principal of the prestigious Sydney Grammar school, who said laptops were not necessary in class and that more traditional teaching methods were more effective.
Some schools are banning laptops for one day a week in an effort to get children off their screens and on to the sports fields. While other schools are bringing textbooks back into the classroom and getting students to use laptops to type up assessments at home. It seems that many schools are trying to find the balance between the incredible resources laptops can put at the fingertips of students, versus their potential for distraction.