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Children: ICT

Education written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what research his Department has commissioned on the effect of digital technology on the brains of children and young people.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department for Education has not commissioned any research on the effect of digital technology on the brains of children and young people. It has assessed the evidence about the effect of digital technology on learning.

A systematic review on the effects of digital technology on learning concluded that there is a small positive, but not causal, link between the use of digital technologies and pupils' attainment. The review did not find any evidence on the beneficial impact of e-learning on pupils' achievement. It also found that sustained use of computer technology can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of young children (Higgins et al, 2012).

Other evidence has found that information and communication technology (ICT) increases pupils' confidence and motivation by making school work more enjoyable (Passey et al, 2004).


Higgins, S. et al (2012) The impact of digital technology on learning: a summary for the Education Endowment Foundation. November 2012.

Passey, D., Rogers. C., with Machell, J., and McHugh, G. (2004) The Motivational Effect of ICT on Students. Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University. DFES RR 523.

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