You may have seen in the TES last week end an article (https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/ofsted-warns-against-extremely-disruptive-tablets-school) expressing the view point from Ofsted that bringing tablet computers into school has a negative effect on learning. The article included a quote from an Ofsted spokes man which stated “Pupils bringing personal devices such as laptops or tablets into school can be extremely disruptive and make it difficult for teachers to teach.” On first reading it appears to be a damning report on the use mobile technology or the introduction of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives that we see in schools.
This follows on from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report earlier in the year that claimed that the use of technology had no impact on learning. As you can imagine, this latest report from Ofsted has led to some interesting activity by bloggers and others in the education sector in response to its claim. One blog in particular caught my eye in that the author focussed on explaining the evidence used within the report and how it contradicts many of the previous comments made by Ofsted in Section 5 reports. (https://cogitateit.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/disruptive-technology/)
What we hope all this says to those considering the use of technology, and in particular using tablets or BYOD, is that you need to give real thought as to why you are introducing these technologies into schools, along with the what and how. If after giving it serious consideration it will provide the impact you are looking for, consider what support staff will need to ensure it gets used to its maximum benefit. One thing that got missed in the headlines following the release of OECD report was in the summary and that was the report did not recommend using less technology in classrooms, but instead rethinking how it was implemented, “In the end, technology can amplify great teaching, but great technology cannot replace poor teaching.”