Illustration: OECD infographic
Do we need computers in the classroom?
On average, in the past 10 years, there has been no appreciable improvement in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that have invested heavily in information and communication technologies for education .
Does it matter?
Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers, and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences.
Differences in access to and use of ICT
Based on results from PISA 2012, the report discusses differences in access to and use of ICT – what are collectively known as the “digital divide” – that are related to students’ socio-economic status, gender, geographic location, and the school a child attends. The report highlights the importance of bolstering students’ ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship between computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitized societies of the 21st century.
This is from a report published in 2015 . Other findings in the same report are that students who use computers moderately at school tend to be somewhat more skilled in online reading than students who rarely use computers. But students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in reading, even after accounting for students’ background.
 OECD (2015) Students, Computers and Learning. Making the Connection.