By Eric Schiltz
Education Reformers have the burden of proof. They are the ones that want change. There is no long-term, nor large-scale research that proves that computers are necessary in education. There has never been a single Cost/Benefit Analysis done, let alone several.
The US outspends every other country in the world on education. We have doubled our expenditures over the past few decades with little, if anything, to show for it. We are misspending this money. We are wasting $100s Billions on technology, instead of paying our teachers more, for example.
They say ‘all things being equal’, but all things are not equal, and rarely are equal.
They compare kids, in this ‘research’, but the kids are not the same. Yes they may have some things in common but they are different. Everybody is different. Even if they were the same this rather limited and biased research is not done in a vacuum or laboratory, in other words in a controlled environment. Their subjects’ time away from school is different. They may have had help from parents and siblings. They may have done more of the homework, too. To say the computers cause an ‘improvement’ is a huge stretch. In other words, the computers were not the only difference— not the only factor, for any perceived improvement.
Proof is next to, if not downright, impossible. Without proof we all are just rushing over a cliff like lemmings.
Since the burden of proof falls to the reformers and it is pretty much impossible to prove it works then:
In a nutshell, technology such as laptops, WI-FI, high speed/high bandwidth broadband technologies are NOT needed in education.
A TV with a VCR-DVD player, on a wheeled cart, would be better. It would be more cost effective. There is no need to get every kid in the country their own laptop, PDA, or other technology. Any piece of software on the computer can be burned to DVD. Any computer simulation can be burned to DVD. In fact technology is just a distraction. Any time spent learning technology is time NOT spent learning the subject at hand.