A new study has found that technology can help narrow the mathematics learning gap in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) if leaders and educators include teacher training and well-focused tools in their programmes.
The Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that technology is taking centre stage in teaching during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with millions of students depending on computers and the internet to acquire the knowledge they need.
According to the new study titled “Learning Mathematics in the 21st Century, Adding Technology to the Equation,” students in the region perform poorly in math, language and sciences, with math scores coming in at the bottom.
The study notes that 63 per cent of 15-year-olds fail to attain a basic, level 2 in math competency scores, compared with 50 per cent in science and 46 per cent in languages.
The authors identify multiple reasons for the gaps, including a lack of adequate learning materials, reduced support for kids outside of the classroom and a limited use of teaching techniques use of math to solve real world problems.
“Computer assisted learning could help both students and teachers, and this is even more urgent in the era of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Elena Arias, a senior education specialist at the IDB.
“Nonetheless, we cannot take a simplistic approach toward technological solutions. We need to use technology to promote critical thinking among our students. Technology cannot be an end in and of itself.”