Good idea or bad idea? I came across a link on Arts & Letters Daily, in their list of "Classics" to an article called The Computer Delusion. Though it's five years old, it makes for some interesting reading, and it has sparkled a great amount of debate since its publication.. I'm not sure that I agree with a number of the arguments that it makes, but the main one is spot on right. Computers are just a tool. Without good teachers, a healthy cirriculum, and other resources, the goal of having computers in classrooms is a short sighted solution, focusing more upon the tools than the objectives of education. I just wonder, five years later, what author Todd Oppenheimer might think of computers in classrooms. His article from 1999, describing educational methods in Waldorf Schools, shows a healthy education system in the absence of computers. A Red Herring article called Is our children learning? also examines the question. They make a good point, that I'm happy to see:
The new law, called No Child Left Behind, also requires that 25 percent of technology funding be allocated for training teachers to use the new tools.I think that's the key to realizing a benefit in having computers in classrooms -- enabling teachers to learn to use the technology as just another available tool to achieve educational objectives.
[November 25, 2002 -- Today's Wilmington News Journal has a look at computer in classrooms in Delaware, in an article called Students test online exams.]