Every few years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) release their PISA report – an assessment tool which measures education progress and outcome.
In their most recent one, they report on the effects of digitalisation on education, and in particular on the transformative role that digital technology can have on students’ learning, its benefits, and what the future might look like.
What did the PISA 2022 report find?
“As artificial intelligence and digitalisation rapidly embed themselves in the global economy, it is vital teaching and learning innovate to ensure education stays relevant.” – Page 7
The world of education is undergoing a rapid transformation thanks to major technological advancements. Not only does it offer exciting and innovative ways to enhance learning, but it also fosters self-directed learning, a crucial skill for academic success.
The OECD report that “the majority of students have embraced learning through digital technologies. On average across OECD countries, about three out of four students reported being confident using various technology, including learning management systems, school learning platforms and video communication programmes.”
This highlights how students are readily accepting and adapting to the use of digital technologies to aid their learning. Digital platforms may offer a route to personalised and flexible learning paths.
Which learning benefits from digital tools has the PISA 2022 report found?
The PISA 2022 report found four ways that the use of digital tools have radically transformed learning. Some benefits include:
- Personalised learning – “One of the most visible benefits has been greater personalisation. For example, when students study maths on a computer, the computer can analyse how they learn and make their learning experience more granular, adaptive and interactive.”
- Game-based learning – “This can make learning more fun.”
- Virtual experiments – “Computer simulations let student do things that are difficult or costly to do in the real world. It is more insightful to do an experiment in virtual laboratory than simply listen to a teacher explain.”
- Offering teachers insights into student learning – “Teachers can now get a real sense of how different students learn, what interests them in lessons, and where they get bored or stuck. This helps teachers improve the overall quality of their teaching and gives them a much better sense of which students need extra support.”
As the report has shown, the inevitable shift towards digitalisation and AI-based learning in schools holds great promise. However, not all students may be comfortable with using technology to aid their learning and this may simply be because they do not know how to. And there is still a lot we don’t know about this emerging technology and the negative costs it may cause.
How can students unlock their potential with digital technology?
In one of our recent blogs we summarise seven potential effective strategies students can use to leverage the benefits of digital technology and AI in their learning. The approaches include:
- Using AI as a mentor: Providing feedback
- Using AI as a tutor: Providing direct instruction
- Using AI as a coach: Increasing metacognition
- Using AI as a teammate: Increasing collaborative intelligence
- Using AI as a student: The power of teaching others
- Using AI as a simulator: Creating opportunities for practice
- Using AI as a tool: Checking for understanding
No doubt as technology develops and our understanding of it grows, the use of it will become more nuanced. AI and technology can’t solve all our education problems, and it remains to be seen exactly which problems it can. But the evidence emerging from PISA is promising for those who advocate for its use.
As the PISA report notes, “the challenge is to foster the purposeful and productive integration of digital technology into learning environments.” If we can do that, hopefully our students can thrive in an ever-changing landscape.
If you want to find out more about all the PISA 2022 data, read the 72-page document here.