Do Home Computers Help Or Hinder Education?
theodp writes “The NY Times reports on economists’ efforts to measure a home computer’s educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts. Abroad, researchers found that children in Romanian households who won a $300 voucher to help them buy computers received significantly lower school grades in math, English and Romanian. Stateside, students in a North Carolina study posted significantly lower math test scores after the first broadband provider showed up in their neighborhood, and significantly lower reading scores as well when the number of broadband providers increased. And a Texas study found that ‘there was no evidence linking technology immersion with student self-directed learning or their general satisfaction with schoolwork.’”