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I was in the zone. Level 3, addition, 23 seconds on the clock. It was

another intense game of mathletics –firing through the questions,

smashing Craig T, age 6, Craigieburn Primary School. As I was

whipping through the answers, I got to 9+10, and it got me thinking.

Would my tireless, carefully, scheduled Mathletics study sessions,

earn me a pass in my Methods exam.

The assumption that the use of technology is fundamental for

excellence in academia is a lie. Despite being the primary leader in

the world for technology in schools, Australia does not compare

with our global counterparts in terms of results. Furthermore, our

reliance on gadgets hinder our ability to comprehend information

and have staggering long term implications on our ability to learn.

Not to mention, the destructive impact it is having on social skills

and communication.

We must move away from the idea that frequent use of

technology is a necessary element ineducation.



for Economic Cooperation and Development) a forum made up of

a collection of the world’s most developed countries, released a

report stating that based on tests undertaken in 70 of these

different countries, those that had heavily invested into technology,

in the areas of reading, mathematics and science have seen “no

noticeable improvement” in performance.

Australia is a country, that thanks to the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd,

governments, has invested a whopping 2.4 billion dollars, ensuring

that as many children as possible have a laptop in their school bag.

For every 1000 computers, there are 900 Australian students. We

have been programmed to believe that our computers are the be all

and end all of our educational lives. Ironically, despite an abundance

of these technological gadgets in our schools, Australia is ranked

well behind Singapore, who with very moderate levels of

technological use in education still beat us in terms of digital skills.

Let’s have a look at one of the highest-achieving countries in the

world. You guessed it, Finland. Where there are 1000 Finnish

computers to 5000 Finnish students, even with this ratio they

academically put us to shame. The truth is, that they don’t even

need to be in the Mathletics hall of fame, to outperform us.

The distraction that technology provides can have a negative

impact on one’s learning capacity. From the moment we log into

our computers, we’re taking in and sifting through an incredible


Is Doing More

Harm Than

Good In Our


Meredith Rule

Suzanne Northey Public

Speaking Award