2015 May 02 Saturday
Computers In Classroom Fail To Improve Performance

Larry Cuban, an emeritus prof at Stanford Graduate School of Education who has taught high school and worked as a school superintendent, says technology has failed to improve student academic performance See: The Lack of Evidence-Based Practice: The Case of Classroom Technology (Part 1)

Since 2010, laptops, tablets, interactive whiteboards, smart phones, and a cornucopia of software have become ubiquitous. Yet has academic achievement improved as a consequence? Has teaching and learning changed? Has use of devices in schools led to better jobs? These are the basic questions that school boards, policymakers, and administrators ask.

The answers to these questions are “no,” “no,” and “probably not.”

Test scores, the current gold standard policymakers use to determine academic achievement, show [i]

This is unsurprising to anyone who lacks the tabula rasa faith and has read the major findings of psychometric research. Since the computers aren't implanted inside brains of course they do not improve brains.

His second part: The Lack of Evidence-Based Practice–The Case of Classroom Technology (Part 2)

Politically smart state and local policymakers believe–here is where ideology enters the picture–that buying new tablets loaded with software, deploying them to K-12 classrooms, and watching how the devices engage both teachers and students will work; it is considered “best practice” because, well, “we believe in it.” The theory is that student engagement with the device and software will dramatically alter classroom instruction and lead to improved achievement. The problem, of course (you no doubt have guessed where I am going with this) — is that evidence of this electronic innovation transforming teaching and achievement growth is not only sparse but also unpersuasive even when some studies show a small “effect size.”

People with more Panglossian views think tablets, laptops, high speed internet, and virtual reality goggles are going to usher in a new age of super intellectual contributions by billions of humans. Wrong, wrong, and triple wrong. The computers will increase the productivity of those with the most cognitive ability while making much of the rest of the human population relatively less valuable. A growing fraction of the population will not work unless their wages are subsidized by tax revenue.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 May 02 11:02 AM 


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