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Back to May Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 244 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MAY 2006

Drawback of Computer Use for Educating

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Study findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association casts doubt on the benefit of using computers to educate.

Researchers from Syracuse and Michigan State universities studied the use of laptop computers by Ohio middle school students. A USA Today story "Computers may not boost student achievement" by Greg Toppo describes the findings: "About 37% of the children say they stare at the screens for more than three hours a day; a few report more than five hours a day. Parents help kids with homework more often and students' grades benefit slightly, but teachers report more classroom distractions as students check e-mail. And students actually feel distracted: In the first year, their grade-point averages rose modestly, but when Lei and a colleague asked them to estimate their GPAs, students actually believed they dropped." (4-11-2006)

In a Tennessee study where children from low-income families attended schools with "more computers than your typical school — 125 for poor kids' schools vs. 114 elsewhere, and computers in low-income schools often were more connected to the Internet," findings yielded that "using computers, for instance, to teach reading in primary grades actually showed negative results." (USA Today, 4-11-2006)


 
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