The New York Times’ Sunday front page story by Matt Richtel stirred up lots of commentary on the value of digital media and computers in classrooms. The Hechinger Report did a roundup of the comments here. The story also received tons of interesting comments on the Time’s web site, showing that the topic is one about which there is controversy and strong views. I was somewhat critical of the story in this post. I didn’t think it said much about education or how technology may or may not improve teaching and learning. Classroom technology is changing rapidly and there are understandable concerns about its value. On the other hand, Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute thinks good technology can make teachers unnecessary for motivated, older students. I’m skeptical. I agree, however, that teachers need not always be in the same building (or city or country for that matter) and don’t necessarily have to provide synchronous instruction. The online Khan Academy, to pick a prominent example, certainly is educative. But it’s just a learning tool, though a powerful one, for individualizing instruction. It takes more to become an educated person than the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
- Higher Education
- K-12 Education