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Computers in the Classroom May Do More Harm Than Good When They’re Overused

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“Students who reported a high use of school technology trailed behind peers who reported moderate use,” according to researchers.

Initiatives to provide every schoolchild with a laptop or tablet computer have, to date, been well-publicized failures. And perhaps they were bad ideas to begin with.

Computers can certainly be effective tools for teaching children of certain ages specific subjects. But a large new study suggests their presence in the classroom is far from universally positive.

“Students worldwide appear to perform best on tests when they report a low-to-moderate use of school computers,” Helen Lee Bouygues, president of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation, argues in a just-released report.

“When students report having access to classroom computers and using these devices on an infrequent basis, they show better performance,” Bouygues writes. “But when students report using these devices every day, and for several hours during the school day, performance lowers dramatically.”

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