Technology in schools 'not a magic bullet'

Technology in schools 'not a magic bullet'

Computers, laptops and other gadgets aren't always the answer to better learning.

That's according to a new report that says some countries investing heavily in technology have seen no improvement in maths, science and reading.

Brandon Laurenson is the head of digital learning at Albany Junior High School. It's a new role established this year to help other teachers navigate new technology.

"They need the tools; they need to know how to use it, in order to utilise beauty of tech in the classroom," says Mr Laurenson.

According to the new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), more schools need to follow Albany High School's advice.

It shows that New Zealand has the second highest number of school computers per student - well above the OECD average.

But it doesn't correlate to student achievement. In a 2012 report from the OECD, our performance in science, reading and maths had plummeted.

So is technology helping?

"I don't think they're saying throw out the technology…just saying [it's] not good enough," says Mr Laurenson.

Laurence Zwimpfer is from the 2020 Trust, which works for digital inclusion in schools

He says it's not just up to teachers to make technology effective.

"Parents need to take some responsibility here as well, and we need them to be able to engage with our kids' learning and support their learning," says Mr Zwimpfer.

The Government has spent about $700 million over the past six years connecting schools to the internet.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says it's worth it.

"The real key is that this is a tool; it's not a magic bullet. We have to make sure teaching and learning and practice goes along with it is also present."

Education experts also say once we start using technology to its full potential the results will show.

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