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Tech sector should leave schools alone

Congratulations and thanks to Dr Tom Butler (Analysis, October 19) for his very informative and important article about the dire educational consequences of letting students study via electronic devices.

In the US, they have recorded a dramatic drop in young people’s general knowledge, creativity, and problem solving skills, which the researchers attribute to the use of digital devices in education and social usage.

Closer to home, research has proven technology in the classroom is a hindrance; a Norwegian study (Journal of Education Research, 2013) found that students comprehend what they are reading on a sheet of paper far better than when they read on a computer screen.

Research by the London School of Economics (2014) found schools that banned pupils from carrying mobile phones showed a sustained improvement in exam results. The improvements in education standards, by eliminating the distraction of phones, was most pronounced in disadvantaged schools. A US study (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014) found that college students who hand-wrote class notes, learned more and got better exam results than those who typed. The tech sector should please leave schools alone, unless it has proof its products work.

John Devlin

Dublin 2


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