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  • News article: Computers in classes a scandalous waste of time. What do you think has happened here?

News article: Computers in classes a scandalous waste of time. What do you think has happened here?


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  • Tony Cairns

    Computers, technology and teaching aides in class have long been a vexed question for teachers, caregivers and the corporations who live by teh success of their introduction into schools, preschools, homes and our lives.

    Success in learning, teaching and life answers teh key question What is it for? Who is it for? and to whose advantage?

    If technology helps kids to learn, to discover new things, make new knowledge then they are like the tapes, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and streamed TV before them a success. If they serve to entertain to entrance to while away the pain of a dull day then they are no better or worse than the saviour technology that preceded them - laden with promise but low on delivery

    PISA and Hattie et al. demonstrated last year taht technology makes at best no difference to educational outcomes and at worse teh greater teh penetration of devices into kids eyes ears and brains teh worse teh outcome in assessments, focus and learning.

    The thing old codgers like me miss, blind deaf and dumb to technology, late adopters, reluctant digital migrants, analogue luddites - all these and more I am guilty of is the new media, fora and opportunities for socialization, mediation and education for young and old, intellectually and physically displaced and available 24/7/365 for free on all devices.

    Technology offers the COOL aid of instant access, gratification, elucidation and contact in safe, hermetically sealed creative commons, away from those we disagree with, lately unfriended or muted in our feeds.

    In summary Technology - the great enabler -  is like we humans a memetic media which aims to replicate ourselves our ideas and our beliefs for minimal energy costs and teh greatest efficiency. We should not therefore be surprised when it upends us, critiques and ultimately replaces us. The drive to replicate information whether in silicon, carbon or growing media is the measure of teh quality persistence and adaptability of the idea, gene or cell.