Sunday, November 24, 2002

computers in classrooms

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.]

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