This report from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) finds that even in countries that have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education, there have been no noticeable improvements in their performances in International Student Assessment results for reading, mathematics or science.
To assess their digital skills, the OECD required students in 31 countries to use a keyboard and mouse to navigate texts, using tools like hyperlinks, browser buttons or scrolling in order to access information, as well as making a chart from data or using on-screen calculators. The top performers were Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong-China, Japan, Canada and Shanghai-China. This reflects closely their performances in the 2012 print-reading test, suggesting that many of the skills essential for online navigation can also be taught and learned using standard, analogue reading techniques.
The OECD concludes by arguing that ensuring every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services.
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