After concerns have been raised that technology and social media are negatively impacting students, many Australian schools, including Catholic schools, are reducing their dependence on laptops.
“The reality is that technology is doing more harm than good in our schools today,” said Andreas Schleicher, the chief of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education division.
The OECD also released a report which found out that countries investing heavily in education technology are not really experiencing any noticeable improvement in pupils’ performance in terms of reading, mathematics or science, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
It may be recalled that Australia spent a whopping $2.4 billion to supply laptops to schoolchildren through its Digital Education Revolution.
“Computers have been oversold and there is no evidence that it improve outcomes. Giving out laptops was the educational equivalent of putting pink batts in people’s roofs,” noted St Paul’s Catholic College Principal Mark Baker.
The Manly school also joined the laptop control brigade and asked students not to bring it, at least, one day in a week. The school wants pupils to be on the sports ground and away from LCD screens.
Even though laptops have enriched students by supplying great resources at the fingertips, educators are concerned about the distraction caused by them.
“The problem is maturity,” Baker said. “They are very good at using technology for social interaction but not for learning.”
A recent survey of 1000 young adults found that 39 percent of them compared their life and achievements with others on social media. According to the Optus Digital Thumbprint program, excessive social media obsession can cause anxiety disturbances among students.
Sydney Grammar, one of the top private schools in Sydney, recently announced banning of laptops in the classrooms.
School headmaster John Vallance said the return to old-school teaching is essential to increase teacher-student relationships and in that context laptops are a distraction in the classroom.
“Teaching is about interaction between people, about discussion, about the conversation,” Vallance said.
Valance added that grades are falling across the country despite spending billions of dollars on laptops. He called it a “scandalous waste of money.”
Vallance said the multibillion-dollar investment in providing laptops to high school students seemed to have yielded no benefit barring the gains accrued to tech giants such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, said a report in the Daily Mail.