New global data reveal education technology’s impact on learning

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The use of technology in education has become a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to the classroom, school systems must carefully consider the longer-term role of technology.

The promise of technology in the classroom is great: enabling personalized, mastery-based learning; saving teacher time; and equipping students with the digital skills they will need for 21st-century careers. Indeed, controlled pilot studies have shown meaningful improvements in student outcomes through personalized blended learning.1 During this time of school shutdowns and remote learning, education technology has become a lifeline for the continuation of learning.

As school systems begin to prepare for a return to the classroom, many are asking whether education technology should play a greater role in student learning beyond the immediate crisis and what that might look like. To help inform the answer to that question, this article analyzes one important data set: the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published in December 2019 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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