From the Washington Post:

Increasingly, though, another view is emerging: that the money schools spend on instructional gizmos isn’t necessarily making things better, just different. Many academics question industry-backed studies linking improved test scores to their products. And some go further. They argue that the most ubiquitous device-of-the-future, the whiteboard — essentially a giant interactive computer screen that is usurping blackboards in classrooms across America — locks teachers into a 19th-century lecture style of instruction counter to the more collaborative small-group models that many reformers favor.”There is hardly any research that will show clearly that any of these machines will improve academic achievement,” said Larry Cuban, education professor emeritus at Stanford University. “But the value of novelty, that’s highly prized in American society, period. And one way schools can say they are ‘innovative’ is to pick up the latest device.”

(I thought a whiteboard was, you know, a white board. But anyway.)


  1. It seemed to me like the term for those boards around here started out as "white" but mutated to "smart." Smart boards.

    Technology was "bigger" in special ed than in regular ed until recently. A major problem with it was that the staff was rarely well-versed in its use, and even if it was, didn't always know individual students well enough to maximize the technology's use in a given situation.

    There's going to be large variation in value teachers get from all these new technologies. Some of that variation will be due to how diverse pupils in a given class are. In theory, you would think the technology would be more adaptable in a diverse class. I would bet that in practice, it's usually not.

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