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Research Shows Lower Test Scores for Fourth Graders Who Use Tablets in Schools

June 10, 2019

By: Jill Barshay

Source: The Hechinger Report

Amounting body of evidence indicates that technology in schools isn’t boosting student achievement as its proponents had hoped it would. The latest research comes from the Reboot Foundation, which released a study in June 2019 that shows a negative connection between a nation’s performance on international assessments and 15-year-olds’ self-reported use of technology in school. The more students used technology in schools, the lower the nation ranked in educational achievement.

In the United States, the results were more complicated. For younger school children, the study found a negative tie between the use of tablets in school and fourth-grade reading scores. Fourth-grade students who reported using tablets in “all or almost all” classes scored 14 points lower on the reading portion of a test administered by the federal government than students who reported “never” using classroom tablets. That’s the equivalent of a year of education or an entire grade level. Meanwhile, some types of computer usage among older students could be beneficial. Eighth graders who reported using computers to conduct research for projects had higher reading test scores than those who didn’t use computers for research.

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