How to Avoid Panic over Technology in Schools
New research questioning the value of computer use in schools should not deter Ireland’s government from boosting its investment in classroom technology, according to leading educationalist, New Zealander Professor Mark Brown.
Brown, who is director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University, said he agreed with the view of the OECD, in a recently published report that “the problems and ills of education are not solved through technology”.
However, he warned against the study feeding into “a moral panic about the use of technology in our schools”.
Brown said “we should have more debate about the role the school now plays in the 21st century” and whether it is equipping the next generation to tackle the serious, global challenges ahead.
He said New Zealand was near the top of the OECD table for computer use in schools and this was the result of a policy decision to better integrate technology in education.
This included the issuing of a laptop to every teacher as part of their contract “because if they have to know the technology, and use it well, they need to have access to it in the first place”.
Before taking up this position at the start of 2014, Brown was director of both the National Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance (DELFA) at Massey University.
Original article by Joe Humphreys, The Irish Times, September 16, 2015.