Expert Analysis

Is Disruption a Good Idea in Education?

When the Fatih project took place, public schools began going digital few years ago, textbooks started to disappear from classrooms, and paper and pencils were no longer encouraged. All students from 1st to 12th grade would eventually get a tablet or laptop, aiming to reach the “one-to-one” ratio of one for each child that has become coveted nationwide. Teaching apps and digital courses took the place of flashcards and notebooks.

Over the last decade, schools embraced technology, spending millions of liras on devices and apps, believing its disruptive power would help many children learn faster, stay in school and be more prepared for a competitive economy. Now many parents and teachers are starting to wonder if all the disruption was a good idea.

Technology has made it easier for students and teachers to communicate and collaborate. It engages many students and allows them to learn at their own pace. However, early indications state that tech isn’t a pure solution for education. Researchers say there is no clear evidence showing which new tech-related education offerings or approaches work in schools.

Parents’ View of Point

The uncertainty is seen with caution among some parents who are already worried about the amount of time their children spend attached to digital devices. Some believe technology is not doing much to help their kids learn, setting up a clash with tech advocates who say technology is the future of education. Now parents are demanding proof technology works as an educational tool and insisting on limits. They’re pushing schools to offer low- or screen-free classrooms, picketing board meetings to protest all the online classes and demanding more information about what data is collected on students.

From Teachers’ Eyes

Teachers support using technology in general but are concerned over whether it is being used too much or in the right way. About half the guidelines address health issues like proper ergonomics and eye safety. Others remind teachers to promote student collaboration and reward good behavior with social and physical activity—not more screen time.

Researchers Say

A report from Rand Corporation in October cited a lack of rigorous evidence showing which new education practices and tools are effective, stating the offerings are “relatively immature, fragmented and of uneven quality.” In a peer-reviewed article, the research firm described strategies to guide teachers and administrators “in the absence of proven-effective models.”


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