Learning environments with technological resources: a look at their contribution to student performance in Latin American elementary schools
Research shows that computer access and use has a positive effect on the performance reached by Latin American schoolchildren in sixth grade. This is supported by Multilevel models of 4 and 3 levels with data from the Second Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study, developed by UNESCO (2008) in 16 countries and analyzing around 3,000 schools, some 92,000 sixth grade students and 3,900 teachers. The results: Barely one-third of Latin American sixth graders have a computer in their home, and schools where these children attend are unable to reverse this. Furthermore, there is a marked deficit of computers at home and schools in rural areas. Data shows that school performance in reading and math increases significantly among those students that have a computer in their home, an increase that is greater among those students that have at their disposal >10 computers at school. In turn, increased use, both by pupils and teachers, improves school performance in both disciplines once the following variables are controlled: socio-economic level, family culture, gender, mother tongue and number of pre-school years.