I was just about to write about getting back to basics in education when an article popped up on one of my social media feeds and I figured it was a sign. I dug a little deeper and began reading this study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). A summary can be found here.
I am sure that many educators would disagree with the findings. But, like any study it is worth considering and I agree with this claim from OECD:
Ensuring that every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services.
I also happened upon this study that argues the case against laptops in schools, specifically looking at note-taking and how students process information.
While I believe students should be exposed to a variety of technology tools. We have a responsibility as educators to do this. I also believe there is a balance to be had in the classroom.
Too often I see teachers ill-prepared for device implementation in the classroom. I am a strong proponent of students using the best tool to show what they know. After we have introduced tools and applications to our students, we should allow them to choose the most appropriate method to demonstrate understanding. And, we need to be ok with our students choosing pen and paper if they choose.
Educators today are digital immigrants and our students are digital natives. Instead of pouring money into devices we should be investing in professional development that equips teachers to use technology to transform their practice.