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Debate: There Are No Technology Shortcuts to Good Education

December 20, 2011

Excerpts from the article:

There are no technology shortcuts to good education. For primary and secondary schools that are underperforming or limited in resources, efforts to improve education should focus almost exclusively on better teachers and stronger administrations. Information technology, if used at all, should be targeted for certain, specific uses or limited to well-funded schools whose fundamentals are not in question.

(Caveat: Because this article was written for an audience most interested in government-funded primary and secondary education in developing countries, words like “wealthy,” “average,” and “typical” should be read with that context in mind. But, the conclusions are relevant for a broad class of primary and secondary schools in developed countries, as well.)

To back these assertions, I’ll draw on four different lines of evidence:

“The history of electronic technologies in schools is fraught with failures.”

“Computers are no exception, and rigorous studies show that it is incredibly difficult to have positive educational impact with  computers. Technology at best only amplifies the pedagogical capacity of educational systems; it can make good schools better, but it makes bad schools worse.”

“Technology has a huge opportunity cost in the form of more effective non-technology interventions.”

“Many good school systems excel without much technology.”

Read the whole article at: http://edutechdebate.org

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