March 22, 2005

What’s the point…Uncovering the truth behind anti-tech studies

Stephen Downes writes about a study done stating “Computers can harm learning” These studies usually end up pointing people in the wrong direction. At first glance it might appear that removing technology from schools would be a good thing. It seems that’s the message that’s being promoted.

Todd Oppenheimer wrote a book called The Flickering Mind in which he tries to make the point that technology is largely a waste of money. I wrote a paper on his premise last year and found that he didn’t do an especially good job of getting to the real issue. We all know that computers and technology on their own do nothing to support learning. We get that and we also know that teachers are working hard for the most part to use technology in effective ways.

Read Jamie Mckenzie’s review of The Flickering Mind. Also NPR has an archived broadcast of an interview with Tood Oppenheimer.

I’m trying to figure out the motive behind these studies. Again if it’s trying to stay that teachers need to be more effective in their use of technology, few would argue. If it’s to say let’s cut back on the use of technology in learning…I have a big problem with that!