Gisele Huff’s response
And here's Gisele Huff's response:
It's funny how you take Michael Winerip to task for ignoring the much worse results of the union-led charter school while falsely attacking Harlem Success which gets excellent results. I say this because you are acting the same way when you praise Matt Richtel's article as being an accurate representation of technology in the classroom. What the article proves is that "cramming" (see Clayton Christensen's "Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns" co-authored by Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson) i.e., overlaying technology on the traditional system doesn't work. But then, we knew that, we've known that for years, it's old news (see Tom Vander Ark's post http://gettingsmart.com/blog/2011/09/richtels-rear-view-story-mirror-missed-the-mark/).
What the article describes is a hodge-podge, haphazard sprinkling of stuff (Smart Boards, games, etc.) on top of education as we know it. The telling phrase is what Richtel calls the "technology-centric" classroom whereas those of us who view digital learning as the future insist on "student-centric" experiences: any time, any place, any path, any pace.
Furthermore, Richtel conveniently ignores the results obtained by real blended models like Carpe Diem School, Rocketship, KIPP Empower LA and some 40 others described in "The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning" (see www.innosightinstitute.org).
You're behind the ball on this one, Whitney.
To be clear, I'm not anti-technology at all – but I think it has to be done very carefully and I suspect that a meaningful fraction (I don't know if that's 20% or 80%) of technology spending in our schools today isn't driving any gain in student learning. My general view is that giving principals and teachers better technology is likely to be a better investment than, say, giving every child a computer.