Give a kid a laptop and it might not make any difference.
That’s the message from research presented here Monday, which suggests that spending millions of dollars to bring technology into kids’ homes and schools has decidedly mixed results.
Taxpayer-supported school computer and Internet giveaways are political gold, but studies have questioned whether they actually help student achievement. This research, presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, confirms skeptics’ doubts.
In one study, researchers from Syracuse and Michigan State universities examined a program that gave laptop computers to middle-school students in Ohio in 2003. Preliminary findings are mixed.
“Overall, we don’t know if it is a worthwhile investment,” says Syracuse researcher Jing Lei.
We should not spend money on these things unless and until we get the basics right (Math, reading/writing and science).