Sunday, February 19, 2012

Who really benefits from putting high-tech gadgets in classrooms?

I think technology is one of the most potentially transformative tools in a teacher's arsenal, but it's always good to remember to have your eyes wide open when making decisions that affect our learners. This is a really thought-provoking piece from the L.A. Times. It reminds me of one of Seymour Papert's great lines:  "Of course “technology doesn’t work.” Technology doesn’t do anything. People do. "
How much genuine value is there in fancy educational electronics? Listen to what the experts say.
"The media you use make no difference at all to learning," says Richard E. Clark, director of the Center for Cognitive Technology at USC. "Not one dang bit. And the evidence has been around for more than 50 years."
Almost every generation has been subjected in its formative years to some "groundbreaking" pedagogical technology. In the '60s and '70s, "instructional TV was going to revolutionize everything," recalls Thomas C. Reeves, an instructional technology expert at the University of Georgia. "But the notion that a good teacher would be just as effective on videotape is not the case."

1 comment:

  1. What we need is one teacher for each subject at each level and a video camera. For a year. :-|

    When I was in Auckland years ago, Auckland University were getting all excited about sending video from one campus to another - so a lecturer could deliver courses to both.

    I can see the point if you are beaming a world experts on some obscure topic into a discussion, but this was for first year courses. Seemed to me that a lecturer in the room would be worth two over the bridge :-)