"There's a growing technology … that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." Gerald Bracey (2006)
Sent to the New York Times.
Baltimore County Public Schools, with a student population of just over 100,000, has committed $200 million to computer technology, about $2000 per student (“How silicon valley plans to conquer the classroom,” Nov. 2).
The Times’ claim that there is “little rigorous evidence” supporting the use of computers in schools is not quite accurate: There is evidence that the impact of computer technology is negative. A large international study done by the Organization of Economic Development covering 36 countries found that adding computer technology resulted in lower student achievement, especially in reading.
Researcher Jeff McQuillan concluded that “Researchers for more than two decades have failed to find any significant education benefits for loading up the classroom with more hardware bells and software whistles.” In contrast, McQuillan points out that there is a great deal of research showing that improving access to interesting reading material has a clearly positive effect on reading achievement as well as other subjects.
Two hundred million dollars could add about 200 books per student in Baltimore County school and classroom libraries.
University of Southern California
Original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/technology/silicon-valley-baltimore-schools.html
McQuillan, j. 2017. Books before bytes. Language Magazine 17(2): 38-41.
Carter, S., Greenberg, K., and Walker, M. 2017. Should professors ban laptops? Education Next 17(4).