Wednesday, November 14, 2007

everyone is happy with the way computers are used in School, right?

Alan Kay Still waiting for the Revolution

Computers could be used as a "thought amplifier" (eg. model the exponential growth of a contagious disease) but there are underlying problems of:
(1) the poor maths / science knowledge of most adults;
(2) Schools preoccupied with vocational training, which is now even rampant in elementary schools.

So, although everyone is happy with students busily using computers in school very little of importance is actually happening.
Q: U.S. schools have spent $40 billion on computers and Internet access. Do you think they've put that technology to good use?

A: It's a chicken and the egg thing. What's happened is probably a successful egg—but with no chicken yet in sight. I can go into virtually any school that has computers and see children who are happily using them, as well as see teachers who are happy that the kids are using them. Parents are happy, principals are happy, and school boards are happy. But if you know anything about computing or about math and science, you can see that very little of importance is going on there.

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