University of Oulu

Saarinen, A., Lipsanen, J.,Hintsanen, M, Huotilainen, M.& Keltikangas-Järvinen, L.(2021). The Use of Digital Technologies at School and Cognitive Learning Outcomes: A Population-Based Study in Finland International Journal of Educational Psychology,10(1),1-26.

The use of digital technologies at school and cognitive learning outcomes : a population-based study in Finland

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Author: Saarinen, Aino I. L.1,2; Lipsanen, Jari2; Hintsanen, Mirka1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Hipatia Press, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-20


Recently, the use of information and communications technology (ICT) at school has been extensively increased in Finland. This study investigated whether the use of ICT at school is linked to students ‘learning outcomes in Finland. We used the Finnish PISA 2015 data (N=5037). Cognitive learning outcomes (i.e. science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem-solving) were evaluated with computer-based tests. ICT use at school, ICT availability at school, and students’ perceived ICT competence were assessed with self-rating questionnaires. Frequent ICT use at school predicted students’ weaker performance in all the cognitive learning outcomes, when adjusted for age, gender, parental socioeconomic status, students’ ICT competence, and ICT availability at school. Further, the effect of ICT use on learning outcomes was more negative in students with higher than lower ICT skills. Frequent use of ICT at school appears to be linked to weaker cognitive learning outcomes in Finland. This may be explained by working memory overload and task-switching during the use of digital technologies. This finding also suggests that even though students with ICT skills are good at mechanical use of digital device, they may not have abilities for a goal-oriented and self-directed use of digital technologies that could promote their learning.

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Series: International journal of educational psychology
ISSN: 2014-3591
ISSN-E: 2014-3591
ISSN-L: 2014-3591
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Pages: 1 - 26
DOI: 10.17583/ijep.2021.4667
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).