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A friend told me once that she and her husband were considering putting their son in a particular private school, but were turned off by the principal’s focus on how much technology the school has invested in putting into the classrooms there.
“It’s not that we’re against technology in the classroom,” she told me. “It’s that I’m suspicious of a school that puts so much emphasis on technology, but not on what is actually taught in the classroom. I know they’re trying to appeal to yuppie parents like us, who like that sort of thing. But I found it made me less confident in that school.”
Alan Jacobs draws attention to evidence that all this expensive technology doesn’t actually make kids learn more or better, just differently. Excerpt:
“There is hardly any research that will show clearly that any of these machines will improve academic achievement,” said Larry Cuban, education professor emeritus at Stanford University. “But the value of novelty, that’s highly prized in American society, period. And one way schools can say they are ‘innovative’ is to pick up the latest device.”
Meanwhile, Alan struggles with the news that his college classroom is going to be outfitted like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise for next semester.