At School, Books Rule -- Not Computers

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jul 13, 2010 9:04 AM

David Brooks points out that computers can actually be detrimental to learning.

Recently, Internet mavens got some bad news. Jacob Vigdor and Helen Ladd of Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy examined computer use among a half-million 5th through 8th graders in North Carolina. They found that the spread of home computers and high-speed Internet access was associated with significant declines in math and reading scores.

This study, following up on others, finds that broadband access is not necessarily good for kids and may be harmful to their academic performance. And this study used data from 2000 to 2005 before Twitter and Facebook took off.

Hopefully this takes the edge off critics who claim that a lack of computers means a lack of educational success.