I was away on vacation last week and didn't get around to reading this
thread until this evening. I would like to thank Doug Reaves and Steve
Barner for caring the banner of the minority opinion (and, I belive, the
flag of sobriety) into the fray. Wisdom may not prevail, but we
curmudgeons can't sit quietly by and let something like that bit of
simplistic arrogance from Abilene go without comment. Doug and Steve
made most of the points I would have made, but I still feel a need to
weigh in on this and add a bit as wel. But I'll be brief (for me).
I'm not unaware that we speak of an issue that bears on the livelihood
of most of the people using this list. I don't wish to offend those of
you who felt that the attempt by someone in Kansas to demonstrate the
superiority of computer-based learning over cerebral-based learning was
a source of inspiration, but to me it demonstrated rather the inability
of many good educators to understand just why it is that they are good
Many of you who post to this list are people I know and whose teaching
abilities I greatly respect. I know kids are learning in your classes,
learning a lot. But I believe it's because you are excellent teachers
who understand kids and care about them, because you have tremendous
enthusiasm and endless creativity. And I also believe that, with your
talents, learning would take place in your classrooms if all you had to
work with were a chalkboard and a 1950's Erector set.
We need technology to be a part of our kids' lives, but only a part,
not the be-all and end-all. Please use it carefully.
I'll close by quoting a recent report by an I.T. industry association,
the Information Technology Association of America. Speaking to
prospective employees they said: "Want to get a job using information
technology to solve problems? Know something about the problems that
need to be solved."