Insightful article by Susan Pinker in NY Times, Jan. 30/15
As said here earlier, e-technology ain’t no panacea. Key questions are: How much does e-technology actually influence classroom learning positively progression-wise? What is the concrete evidence to support that a lotta bang is gotten from the bucks spent on e-technology and allowing students to use it in the classroom? How much of e-screen time in the classroom is actually devoted to learning and necessary research or demos as opposed to playing games, surfing social media, or downloading unrelated e-‘entertainment’? Are lower class children given e-technology excelling in reading, writing, speaking, knowledge, learning, and basic math?
According to experts, the technological tools really depend on the presence of a knowledgable, highly-skilled teacher. Observation suggests there aren’t too many well-rounded teachers out there today compared with the teachers of old. Many tend to be shallow, more concerned about form or style rather than content, and are not teaching a common standardized curriculum. ‘Nice’ young folks, but without a strong, deep knowledge of or informed passion for of basic subject curriculum–somewhat ‘fuzzy-minded’ and unfocused, and easily distracted themselves.
The answer to the entry’s question is a simple, resounding “Yes.” The empirical evidence and research are only just starting to come in. Nowhere in this data is there any sign of significant information and patterns being inscribed on students’ tabula rasa. Nowhere is there a record of: enlarged human powers, increased curiosity about the world and important issues, increased humanization, human empathy, sympathy, and kindness. Only a superficial, unquantifiable glow of a limited ‘heroic’ e-technology and the accomplish-nothing-tangible babble of the e-frontline rah-rahers who almost hear a meaning in their noise.