Kiwi kids big school computer users - but are they doing any better?

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New Zealand has the second highest number of school computers to students, but it might not be doing much good for their performance in key subjects, according to a study by the OECD.

It found New Zealand has 1.2 15-year-old students per school computer, topped only by Australia with 0.9 students that age per computer.

The study found 86.4 per cent of 15-year-olds are using computers at school in New Zealand.

But the report found countries which have invested heavily in IT for education have seen "no noticeable improvement" in their performances in OECD test results for reading, mathematics or science.

Students who use computers moderately at school tend to have better learning outcomes than those who use computers rarely, it says. 

But students who use computers "very frequently" at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.

Source: 1 NEWS

High achieving school systems such as South Korea and Shanghai in China have lower levels of computer use in schools.

Singapore, with only a moderate use of technology in school, is top for digital skills.

To assess their digital skills, the test required students in 31 countries and economies to use a keyboard and mouse to navigate texts by using tools like hyperlinks, browser button or scrolling, in order to access information, as well as make a chart from data or use on-screen calculators.

The OECD says ensuring every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and maths will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services.

OECD Director for Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher says school systems need to find more effective ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning to provide learning environments that give children with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

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