Education expert Diane Ravitch is not against constructive use of technology in schools but she recognizes that industry has a powerful profit interest in encouraging schools to overuse and misuse technology in schools, and that can be harmful to schools and to students.
“The greatest fear of parents and teachers is that the tech industry wants to replace teachers with computers,” she writes in a column published by EdSurge. “They fear that the business leaders want to cut costs by replacing expensive humans with inexpensive machines, that never require health care or a pension. They believe that education requires human interaction. They prefer experience, wisdom, judgment, sensibility, sensitivity and compassion in the classroom to the cold, static excellence of a machine. I agree with them.”
Ravitch, a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education, is the founder and President of the Network for Public Education (NPE). In the EdSurge column, she lays out the top 5 Risks Posed by the Increasing Misuse of Technology in Education.
“Personalized learning, or ‘competency-based education,’ are both euphemisms for computer adaptive instruction,” she writes. “Again, a parent rebellion is brewing, because parents want their children taught by a human being, not a computer. They fear that their children will be mechanized, standardized, subjected to depersonalized instruction, not ‘personalized learning.’ While many entrepreneurs are investing in software to capture this burgeoning industry, there is still no solid evidence that students learn more or better when taught by a computer.”
Ravitch blogs at dianeravitch.net.
Read the entire column:
At any given moment in the day, I am attached to my cellphone, my iPad or my computer. As a writer, I was an early convert to the computer. I began writing on a TRS-80 from Radio Shack in 1983 on wonderful writing software called WordPerfect, which has mysteriously disappeared.