The recent OECD report on Digital Skills offered up some talking points from an Irish education point of view. On the plus side, Irish students scored well in the comparitive rankings, with particular strong scores. Good news as we forge ahead with our Digitial Economy!
The overall tenet of the report was quite negative however. The results were being reported in some quarters as demonstrating that too much time spend on devices will lead to poorer results. This led to headlines such as the following:
We believe that headlines such as this are misleading at best, damaging at worst. The results from the report linked average time spent on devices with digital skills. It was not a emperical study on the use of technologies in the classroom. It takes some measure of current digital skills and links that with general internet use. This is a very important distinction. iPads, or other edtech solutions were not specifically scope in the study.
It is clear that the effectiveness of hardware and software solutions designed for education are not within the scope of this report. What is also clear however is that, save for a few pioneers, that there appears to still be an gap in terms of education of the use of technology in the classroom. We couldn’t help but agree with sentiments such as this posted in the aftermath of the report:
Our team at GoConqr had some thoughts on this. It’s not just good enough is to have the tools, you need to know what to do with them. Working with students and teachers daily improve learning, we have a few suggestions on how this can be improved.
Three things are essential for more effective use of technology in the classroom:
- Active Learning
- Directed Discovery
For more on this, see the full article on How Edtech can be More Effective.