Monday, January 30, 2012

Can Computers Replace Teachers?

Andy Rotherham with some sensible thoughts on the role of technology in education:

As a parent and an analyst, I want technology that includes rich content or enables students to access it. And I want technologies that are engaging for students but actually teach them something. Plenty of applications err on one side or the other. And as with lots of offline schoolwork, there are time wasters that aren't helping anyone learn much of anything. If anyone tells you an ed tech tool has "gaming elements," make sure it's not just a game.

American education desperately needs an overhaul that goes far beyond upgrading computers in the classroom. It's the last major American field relatively untouched by technology. But Jobs was right: technology by itself won't fix what ails our schools. He saw teachers' unions and archaic practices as the big barriers. Perhaps, but I'd argue they are symptoms of our larger inattention to instructional quality. The bells and whistles of technology, for all its promise, are distracting us from this mundane but essential reality.

PS-- It's pretty cool to see what Apple is doing with textbooks on the iPad:


School of Thought

Can Computers Replace Teachers?

Until we figure out how to best use technology in the classroom, the bells and whistles are often a distraction

By Andrew J. Rotherham | @arotherham | January 26, 2012 | 21

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