Failure to integrate computers in teaching leaves Norwegian schoolchildren behind.
A recent study by ITU, a national unit focusing on computers in education at Oslo University, has found that computer skills amongst pupils and teachers in Norwegian primary and secondary schools are far too weak.
Whilst teachers in general have been better at using computers for administration and for planning their lessons, there is still a long way to go before these skills are an integral part of their teaching, according to the study. This affects both pupils’ performance in all subjects, as well as their social position.
“The pupils learn less...and we risk that a large proportion of schoolchildren being without basic computer skills when they get to 6th-form College...(Furthermore), a lack of digital competence contributes to reinforcing social differences between those who have a computer at home, and those who don’t,” says Vibeke Kløvstad, the project’s leader.
However, it’s not just a just teacher’s ways of working and competence that cause the problems. Despite the fact that schools buy enough PCs for everyone to use, pupils are spending less time using computers there than they did two years ago.
“It affects the pupils, and perhaps especially that group of schoolchildren with the greatest need...Digital skills are as basic a requirement as reading and arithmetic...Information and communication technology develops quickly, and having computer skills in our information society is taken for granted,” she says.
The study was last conducted in 2007, and since then the differences between compulsory schools and 6th-from College have increased.
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