Nicola’s iPad concerns vindicated by report

March 13th, 2020 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Nicola Kearns is a former Department inspector.

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A WEST Cork woman who helped launch a campaign to examine more closely the effect the use of technology over textbooks, has already seen some fruit to her labours.

Last year, parents, including Bantry native Nicola Kearns, fought a difficult and divisive campaign to reverse the iPad-only policy of her children’s school in Co Meath.

Parents of the children attending Ratoath College cited issues with distraction, poor quality and inconsistent digital content, falling academic results and problems with revision.

And a report, commissioned by the school, now seems to show that their concerns were well founded and fully vindicated.

However, the parents are not completely happy. ‘Despite requests, the full report from the independent review group has not yet been shared with parents and students,’ Nicola (nee Muckley) told The Southern Star this week. ‘We are also still waiting on details from the school on how the report’s recommendations will be implemented.

‘At the heart of our campaign was the best interests of our children in terms of their education, health and well-being,’ said mum-of-three Nicola, a former teacher and Department of Education and Skills inspector.

The Bantry woman says that a large body of international research – sampling 72 OECD countries – has, in fact, found that students perform more poorly if they have used technology as opposed to the ‘old-fashioned’ system of textbook learning.

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