The educational benefits of technological competence: an investigation of students' perceptions

Neil Selwyn, Onno Husen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to governments around the world, developing and sustaining technological skills and competencies are seen to be a key part of a student's ability to engage with twenty-first century schooling. Yet to what extent do students believe in the association between technological competence and their success at school? This short research paper presents an initial analysis of data from a large-scale survey of secondary-school students in England (n=1303). Analysis of these data suggests that official expectations about the close linkages between scholastic success and information and communication technology (ICT) use are not necessarily shared by students themselves. For example, students' belief in the educational value of ICT competence was low in comparison to their beliefs about technology use in other areas of their lives. Belief in the educational value of ICT competence was also found to be at its highest with students in their initial year of secondary schooling, and at diminished levels with students studying in all other year groups. Moreover, belief in the educational value of ICT competence was highest for those students who had less opportunity to access computers or the Internet. It is suggested that these data could reflect a trend of older and more experienced students coming to realise that technological competence is of limited scholastic value - in contrast to official portrayals of the educational benefits of technology use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalEvaluation & Research in Education
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Information and communications technology
  • Secondary education
  • Students

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