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PC Use Challenges Teaching at Schools in Norway

Facebook, games, blogs, chat and other social networks distract students’ concentration from academic subjects, when they are allowed to use pc during the lessons, writes Aftenposten.

PhD student Marte Blikstad-Balas at University of Oslo says her research shows that students have very great freedom to choose how to fulfill their tasks on their PC at Norwegian schools. The consequence is that much of teaching time is spent other contents than taught discipline, says she. 

As part of her dissertation, she appointed four high school students in Oslo with head cameras to observe what they did in class. Some as ritual started the session by opening a Word document to take note from class teaching. However, they noted little. Instead, they played games, surfed on social media, read blogs and online newspapers while the teacher was talking.

She has combined these studies with interviews and a quantitative survey on the use of Wikipedia in lessons.

– Several of the students in my study are actually the norm rather than the exception that they fill school hours with things that have nothing in particular to do with school, says Blikstad-Balas.

She thinks letting students to sit and do what they want has serious challenges for teaching. She notes that Norwegian school has been very keen to use PC into school.

– The paradox is that very few talk about how computers should be used when it is there, says Blikstad-Balas.

Already in 2009, Aftenposten wrote about the use of social media and other non-professional digital activities in class. In a survey in 2012, 95 percent of the teachers said that computer with internet access lead to poorer learning among students.

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