“There won’t be schools in the future …. I think the computer will blow up the school. That is, the school defined as something where there are classes, teachers running exams, people structured in groups by age, following a curriculum—all of that…. But this will happen only in communities of children who have access to computers on a sufficient scale.”
That’s Seymour Papert, cognitive scientist and designer of software application Logo, writing in 1984 about dramatic changes in schooling with the advent of the desktop computer. Nearly 30 years later, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, spoke at the Association of
“We have the opportunity to completely reform our nation’s schools. We’re not talking about tinkering around the edges here. We’re talking about a fundamental re-thinking of how our schools function and placing a focus on teaching and learning like never before.”
Claims about the power of new electronic devices to “revolutionize” schooling are a dime a dozen. Yet, if they are nearly worthless, why have smart people said them over and over again?
The answer is deeply embedded in American culture: a love affair with technology as the elixir of everlasting improvement in all things personal and institutional. In the past quarter-century, quasi-miraculous changes have occurred in communication, information accessibility, business and commercial activities, combat operations, medical diagnosis and treatment, and so many other activities. Why not schooling?
But schools have changed. There are far more electronic devices in schools than when Papert wrote in 1984. Students use cell phones, personal computers, and tablets at home and in school. Ditto for teachers. Classrooms have been equipped with interactive whiteboards. So why is Arne Duncan calling for a “fundamental re-thinking of how our schools function?”
The reason is that while there is much hardware and software in classrooms, how teachers teach and students learn have remained remarkably stable over the decades. Schools have not yet blown up.
Source: Washington Post
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/the-technology-mistake-confusing-access-to-information-with-becoming-educated/2012/06/17/gJQAt8PFkV_blog.html
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