A report published by the Nuffield Foundation in the UK finds that computer use in schools does not on its own boost students’ digital literacy or prepare them for the workplace.
The report, written by Angela McFarlane, examines how digital technologies are used in schools to enhance learning, and identifies research questions to inform better practice and policy. It examines ten years of existing evidence on the effect the use of digital technology has on learning, and finds that:
- Putting computers into schools is no guarantee that there will be a positive impact on learning outcomes as measured in high-stakes assessments or on the development of digital literacy.
- How digital technologies are used is as important as whether they are used.
- There is no shared picture of what effective digital skills teaching looks like.
- Teachers may not have opportunities to develop the skills they need to make effective use of technology.
- The current use and knowledge of computer-based technology in schools and at home is leaving many young people unprepared for the world of work.
The report suggested these findings have important implications for the curriculum, pedagogy, teacher development as well as assessment in the UK, where the curriculum for 5 to 16 mandates the teaching of Computing.