By Jane Ng
When a study last year found that technology use in schools does not improve student performance, my educator friends were split largely into two camps. One group said: “I told you so!”
The second insisted there were schools that used technology more effectively than others.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based think-tank that carried out the study on education systems in various countries, including Singapore, found that frequent use of computers in school is more likely to be associated with lower marks.
The study is good fodder for discussion in an education system where teachers are encouraged to use technology as a tool to impart the syllabus to tech-savvy kids.
The research, however, did not cover the impact of technology usage at home on children – and I would be curious to find out how big a part that plays in their academic performance, especially in a society where many children have access to computers at home.
I can’t control how much technology my children are exposed to in school but I can, and do, limit how much they use it at home.
Grades aside, I’m more concerned about the effects of technology on the child’s well-being.
This was the case especially after I interviewed former gaming addicts. It is an uphill battle, especially when my son, aged 10, and daughter, seven, are digital natives, so my aim is to ensure that they have a good balance of screen-free playtime.
(Click on arrows in photos to find out more)