Why Computers Have Not Saved the Classroom

Putting computers in classrooms has been almost entirely wasteful, and the rush to keep schools up-to-date with the latest technology has been largely pointless. —Bob Blaisdell reviews Todd Oppenheimer’ s The Flickering MindWhy Computers Have Not Saved the Classroom (CS Monitor)

Oppenheimer argues that when technology is working, it is because enthusiastic teachers have made it work. He notes with alarm that politicians and parents seem more comfortable with spending money on technology than spending money on teachers.

I can say with certainty that all the technology in the world won’t help if the teachers don’t have the training to use it; and that translates to giving them time to learn for themselves what the technology can do for them. Many teachers who think of a curricular website as a photocopying machine (just stick the handouts up there so students can download them and print them out) will never reall understand how the Internet has changed the process of researching a paper.