Friday, September 2, 2011

Will Technology Make Schooling More Efficient? Or Just Waste Time and Money?

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. -- Stephen Covey
The day-to-day activities in American public schools are particularly open to criticism from both parents and politicians. Curriculum “innovations” come and go as public fervor changes on topics of interest. The computers bought in a burst of school board enthusiasm one year sit underutilized the next because no budget has been provided to keep them apace of changes in technology.

However, to the extent that schools perform what are widely recognized as needed technical functions they can hope to resist political pressures. The promise of educational technology has been the promise of educational decision-making based solely on consideration of pedagogical efficiency: the development of a true Factory of Learning.

But are public schools in their essential character very much like factories? And can teaching be focused only, or even mostly, on widely recognized “productive” outcomes?

To get a perspective on these questions see The Teacher as Technician: Will Technology Improve Schooling? -- EGR

-- EGR