A global research project into the impact of information and communications technology has been initiated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The programme, called ICT and the Quality of Learning, is intended to give governments of the 29 participating nations an insight into the effect technology has on schooling and learning and the best way to use it to achieve educational goals such as raising standards of attainment.
Representatives from 25 countries and educational experts met in Poitiers, France last month to refin the design of the study, which begins later this year and will report by May 2001. Areas to be covered include:
* the range and depth of ICT knowledge that students obtain from using it both inside and outside the classroom;
* whether more ICT use leads to more positive attitudes about technology as a learning tool;
* how more use of ICT affects "learning-to-learn" skills;
* whether gaps in ICT use based on income level or other factors are leading to similar gaps in information-processing skills.