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Shiny New Objects Should Not Distract From Learning

Tracey Martin MP
Spokesperson for Education

30 January 2013

Shiny New Objects Should Not Distract From Learning

New Zealand First says arguing over the merits of the latest laptops and tablets should not become a distraction which prevents children from learning.

Education and IT spokesperson Tracey Martin says the Education and Science Select Committee released the findings of its Digital Literacy Inquiry late in 2012.

“There was strong discussion around the role of hardware, software and available broadband connections in the life of current and future students.

“What became obvious is many of our schools, Boards of Trustees (BOTs), students and parents were being distracted by shiny new hardware – laptops and tablets – instead of seeing this technology as another effective teaching tool.”

Ms Martin says the Manaiakalani Education Trust – an education programme involving 11 low decile schools in Auckland – is showing the way and should be commended for supporting its community to fund hardware.

“But as indicated in the report, a ‘bring your own device’ environment is not a silver bullet to improve learning.

“I urge BOTs to consider the report before committing parents to any unnecessary expense.

“The beginning of the school year places financial strain on many families. It is more important for students to come to school fed than with a shiny new laptop,” says Ms Martin.

ENDS

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