Technology in schools: the global picture

Our latest report looks at the most recent research into the effectiveness of technology in education, and also explores the development of technology adoption globally and the benefits and challenges other countries are experiencing.

In addition to carrying out our own extensive research in the UK, we also closely monitor the global adoption of technology within education. To date we have produced 3 literature reviews  and this latest report updates the 2014 review.

As well as summarising recent research into the impact of technology in education, our updated report also looks at how technology is being deployed in schools across the globe, and the debates which surround these large scale deployments. Specifically we look at:

Young people’s use of digital technology

We look at how the use of mobile technology is increasing prevalent amongst young people. We know that many schools seek to acknowledge this by integrating technology into teaching and learning. However our own research and organisations such as Go.On UK, as well as the House of Lords Digital Skills committee, have recently argued that the education system should do more to support the development of such skills.

And of course this increased usage raises concerns about the potentially detrimental effect on young people’s well-being and how it is used within education. In 2015 the UK government announced it was undertaking a review of the potential for mobile technology in the classroom to be a distraction, how this might impact learning and what support teachers need to manage it.

Global mobile technology use in education

We also look in detail at international large-scale deployment schemes, often undertaken as part of an initiative to make education more up to date and relevant to the 21st century.

These include countries as diverse as Malaysia, India, Lebanon, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Jamaica and Columbia.

The impact of mobile technology in education

There is a recognized need for more evidence on the impact of using technology within education.  A recent report by the OECD has argued that there is very little evidence of the impact of technology in education – and that we need more. This received much attention in the media and also criticism from academics and schools.  We produced our own response.

Academic research is continually attempting to assess accurately the impact of mobile technology on teaching and learning. Despite these efforts there is still concern that there is little evidence of a direct impact on learning from technology. We look at why this is, and what research, both positive and negative has been produced in this new research report which you can download here.


  • On reading the very interesting global review of the impact of mobile technology on learning, I was surprised that there was no mention of the experiences in Australian schools, and the recent advances there in one-to-one provision in a number of leading state and independent schools following the closure of the federal government’s Digital Education Revolution in 2013.

  • I have been in touch with our research agency and they said Australia was considered in the previous reviews, but their searches for 2015 did not identify any specific published studies that had measured the impact of mobile technology in schools since these previous reviews.

    They refer in this research to the OECD report which did look at reading levels in Australian schools, but this was in the context of internet use and not mobile devices used in teaching and learning and so was not included. Do you know of any substantial published research looking the use of technology in Australian schools? If so we could do a separate piece on this.

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