Digital Reading? The PISA Report (Program for the International Assessment of Students) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has evaluated for the first time in its history the skills of Spanish students in digital reading. The news is not positive. The Spanish students of 15 years are below the average of the OECD countries and are the sixth by the tail of the total of 19 countries participating in the report. The data seems to reveal that young Spaniards do not use effectively the technological means offered by the information society. Perhaps, what the report highlights is that it requires training, quality resources and incentives that they enhance the interest of young people to learn with the media and that they stimulate their desire to explore and, in short, facilitate their understanding and interaction with ICT.
This assessment of digital reading skills of 15-year-old students reflects “the ability to access, manage, integrate and evaluate information” as well as “build new knowledge from electronic texts”, as specified by the director of the Report , Andreas Schleicher.
According to experts in the reading process, such as José Antonio Millán, “the results are rather mediocreof our students in these tests were to foresee. ” And, as pointed out in an article about the report by Professor of Educational Technology at the University of La Laguna, Manuel Area, one can not expect a substantial improvement in digital reading compared to the conventional reading tests of the PISA -study conducted also by the OECD- when the mechanisms and elements that intervene in media literacy are associated with those of traditional reading.
Most experts agree, on the other hand, that the new technological scenario demands materials and pedagogical strategies that exploit multimedia possibilities and interactivity.
Therefore, and despite the criticism in some forums and blogs about education about the design of these new tests, most of the experts consulted agree that we should not give up on the effort to integrate ICT in the classroom if we want the students are media competent. And this competition not only manifests itself when a young person demonstrates being able to download an application on his iPhone, for example, but, especially, when he is able to help himself with technology to train and learn in a critical, analytical and responsible manner.
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