Millions of pounds of technology is languishing in school cupboards because teachers are being lured into buying the latest gadgets, according to research.
The study was based on an analysis of more than 1,000 research papers on the use of technology in education.
Schools spend more than £450 million a year on tablet computers, educational games and electronic whiteboards with little or no evidence that they benefit pupils, it was claimed.
Researchers said that teachers were increasingly pulled in by the “hype” of digital education without properly considering how to use it.
In some cases, schools are using “shiny new devices” as a direct replacement for books or pen and paper exercises, instead of using them to enhance pupils’ skills.
Many other schools are allowing millions of pounds’ worth of electronic items to “languish unused or underused in school cupboards”, the researchers found. The conclusion, in a report by Nesta, a charity created to support innovation, comes despite concerns over cutbacks to school budgets during the economic downturn.
Geoff Mulgan, the chief executive of the charity, said: “A tablet replacing an exercise book is not innovation – it’s just a different way to make notes