Learning Tools or Objects of Study? A Critical Reflection on the Digitalization of Italian Schools
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The introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education has been a priority of the Italian political agenda of the last twenty years. However, up to now a widespread climate of uncertainty persists towards the effectiveness of the public investments made up in this direction. They were first implemented to increase students’ learning outcomes exploiting ICTs as teaching support tools (learning tools) and, secondly, to foster students’ competencies in their use of new media and technologies (learning objects). This study shows that the former aim clearly dominated the latter and, at the same time, it did not lead to the expected results. Furthermore, the absence of shared theoretical frameworks and policy guidelines for the empowerment of adolescents’ digital competence at the national level has consistently limited the opportunities to develop and implement effective media education initiatives. In light of this evidence, we underline the urgency to invest more resources in educational initiatives focused on ICTs as objects of learning.