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Annotated Reference List

Arguments Against Using ICT in Education

There is a significant amount of literature discussing ineffectual uses and possible negative effects of use of ICT in education.

Annotated References

Alliance for Childhood [Online]. Accessed 12/23/04: http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/index.htm. The Alliance for Childhood feels that there is overuse and misuse of ICT in elementary school education. The following is quoted from the Home Page of the Alliance for Childhood:

The Alliance for Childhood is a partnership of individuals and organizations committed to fostering and respecting each child's inherent right to a healthy, developmentally appropriate childhood.

The Alliance for Childhood and dozens of leading health, education and child development experts are challenging the increasing emphasis on computers in early childhood and elementary schools.

The Alliance for Childhood has also published a Sept. 30, 2004 report:

Tech Tonic: Towards a New Literacy of Technology. Accessed 6/17/05. http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/

Bowers, Chet

Chet Bowers is a professor (now retired) at Portland State University in Oregon, and formerly was a Professor in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He has long been a critic of IT in education and is author of a number of books on this topic.

Bowers, C. A. (2000). Let Them Eat Data: How Computers Affect Education, Cultural Diversity, and the Prospects of Ecological Sustainability. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press.
An extensive review by Bryan R. Warnick University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is available online at: Accessed 7/21/01: http://coe.asu.edu/edrev/reviews/rev119.htm. Quoting from the last two paragraphs of the review:
Bowers ends his book with seven important points for educators. These seven points sum up his major arguments. He argues that we should be aware: (1) of the differences between Western technologies and more ecologically sound cultures, (2) of alternative approaches to technology when making democratic decisions involving technology, (3) that further study is needed on how modern technology changes culture and commodifies relationships, (4) that a more complex view of culture is needed than what is currently presupposed by modern technology enthusiasts, (5) that technology affects language and thought patterns, (6) that issues of justice arise when technology and the nature of work intersect, and (7) that we should understand how the computer carries cultural assumptions that threaten diversity and sustainability.

This is sound advice. More importantly, though, it seems that the main contribution of this book is moving the discussion about technology in the classroom toward dealing with how technology affects language, metaphor, attitudes, and thus, the social world. Computers, Bowers helps us realize, are themselves educators. Computers make moral, political, cultural, and environment arguments, and it is time that these arguments were discussed in the educational community. Bowers has shown how such a discussion might proceed by focusing on the arguments computers make in the domain of ecology. But this is only one domain of human interest, and the rest remains unexplored.

Bowers, C.A. (1997). The Culture of Denial: Why the Environmental Movement Needs A Strategy for Reforming Universities and Public School.

From the back cover: "The Culture of Denial is a deeply moral book, proposing educational reform that is far more profound than the computer-mediated technotrance or the 'culture wars' waged by modern liberals and conservatives. Bowers argues persuasively that only an ecosocial revitalization of education and culture can solve the accumulating modern crises. I hope this book becomes required reading at every teachers' college and university." -- Charlen Spretnak, author of Resurgence of the Real

Bowers, C.A. (1988). The Cultural Dimensions of Educational Computing: Understanding the Non-Nuetrality of Technology.

From the foreword by Jonas F. Soltis: "In this work, Bowers focuses on the ubiquitous computer and its growing use in instruction. He asks us to reflect on the computer as it mirrors our twentieth-century technocratic mind-set. He argues that its use reinforces and strengthens our historical-cultural view of knowledge as power, as the harbinger of progress, and our view of the individual as autonomous and self-directed. He claims that it is this same mind-set that has created a world of serious ecological imbalance and cataclysmic nuclear threat, as well as a breakdown of symbolic processes and a loss of our sense of community. He urges use to think of the computer as a mediator of culture as we increasingly move to the full use of computers in education."

Clare, John (Filed: 3/21/2005). Pupils make more progress in 3Rs 'without aid of computers'. ( Accessed 3/21/05: http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?
. Quoting from the newspaper article:

The less pupils use computers at school and at home, the better they do in international tests of literacy and maths, the largest study of its kind says today.

The findings raise questions over the Government's decision, announced by Gordon Brown in the Budget last week, to spend another £1.5 billion on school computers, in addition to the £2.5 billion it has already spent.

The researchers analysed the achievements and home backgrounds of 100,000 15-year-olds in 31 countries taking part in the Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) study in 2000 for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Pisa, to the British and many other governments' satisfaction, claimed that the more pupils used computers the better they did. It even suggested those with more than one computer at home were a year ahead of those who had none.

The study found this conclusion "highly misleading" because computer availability at home is linked to other family-background characteristics, in the same way computer availability at school is strongly linked to availability of other resources.

Once those influences were eliminated, the relationship between use of computers and performance in maths and literacy tests was reduced to zero, showing how "careless interpretations can lead to patently false conclusions".

From my point of view, such studies and conclusions fail to get at the most important idea, which is people learning to work effectively with ICT systems to solve challenging problems and accomplish challenging tasks.

Cuban, Larry

Larry Cuban has written and spoken extensively about the pros versus the cons of use of IT in education. A few references related to Cuban's work are given below.

Becker, Henry Jay (July 2000). Findings from the Teaching, Learning, and Computing Survey: Is Larry Cuban Right? [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://ww.crito.uci.edu/tlc/findings/ccsso.pdf.

Becker analyzes data from a large scale national study of IT in school, looking at the data from the point of view of Larry Cuban's concerns about uses of IT in schools.

Cuban, Larry (Feb. 23, 2000). Is Spending Money on Technology Worth It? Accessed 1/7/03: http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm
?slug=24cuban.h19. Quoting from the Ed ucation Week news item:

C ount the reasons for continuing investments of money in building a "hard" infrastructure of wiring, servers, and new multimedia machines and a "soft" infrastructure of technical support and professional development. Each reason for spending money has so little evidence to support the investment that it is like buying dot-com stocks that lose money year after year. It is, as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan once said about the stock market, "an irrational exuberance." What are the reasons for investing in technology in schools?

(The article continues with an analysis of a sequence of asserted reasons for investing in technology versus the facts.)

Cuban, Larry. (2001). Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. A review of this book is available at: Accessed 6/13/02: http://coe.asu.edu/edrev/reviews/rev168.htm. Quoting from the review:

To find out if computers are changing education practice, Stanford historian of technology in education, Larry Cuban, took a look at the impact of computers in the community where extensive integration seems most likely. He looked into the preschools, Kindergartens and secondary schools where the people who develop the new technologies send their children. He also looked at Stanford University, an institution that feeds the developers of the high tech industries of the Silicon Valley region of California.

At every level he examined, there was the unexpected outcome: "In the schools we studied, we found no clear and substantial evidence of students increasing their academic achievement as a result of using information technologies." (p. 133) So where is the problem? Not in lack of access: "Students and teachers had access to computers and related technologies available in both their homes and their schools." (p. 132)

Cuban also rejects the most common response from critics of the schools, what he calls the "blame and train" approach--technophobic teachers who must be forced to be trained. He found little evidence of resistance by teachers to using technology. In fact, many used it extensively to prepare their work, communicate with parents, colleagues and students, maintain records, and carry out research. However, "less than 5 percent of teachers integrated computer technology into their curriculum and instructional routines." (p. 133) In fact, "the overwhelming majority of teachers employed the technology to sustain existing patterns of teaching rather than to innovate." (p. 134)

Cuban does not find that result disturbing--or even surprising. In his previous studies of the introduction of new technologies over the past century, the results were similar. This happened with radio, film, television and the early use of large "main frame" computers. Promoters claimed that each new technology would revolutionize schools. In fact, each received some use, but within the context of existing instructional practices.

Cuban, Larry and Pea, Roy (February, 1998). The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom [Online]. Accessed 11/9/01: http://www.tappedin.org/info/teachers/debate.html

This is a link for a 1998 talk that Larry Cuban gave (and Roy Pea presented the opposite side of the argument).

Cuban, Larry (2001). Why Bad Reforms Won't Give Us Good Schools [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://www.prospect.org/
print/V12/1/cuban-l.html. The American Prospect . Volume 12, Issue 1. January 1 - 15 2001

Cuban, Larry. How Scholars Trumped Teachers (ISBN 0807738646) A "free" chapter is available.

Examining a century of university history, Larry Cuban tackles the age-old question: What is more important, teaching or research? Using two different departments (history and medicine) at Stanford University as a case study, Cuban shows how universities have organizationally and politically subordinated teaching to research for over one hundred years. He explains how university reforms, decade after decade, not only failed to dislodge the primacy of research but actually served to strengthen it. He examines the academic work of research and teaching to determine how each has influenced university structures and processes, including curricular reform. Can the dilemma of scholars vs. teachers ever be fully reconciled? This fascinating historical journey is a must read for all university administrators, faculty, researchers, and anyone concerned with educational reform.

Cuban, Larry. Improving Urban Schools in the 21st Century: Do's and Don'ts or Advice To True Believers and Skeptics of Whole School Reform [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://www.goodschools.gwu.edu/csrl/

This is available on the Website of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://www.goodschools.gwu.edu/index.htm Larry Cuban Links [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://www.edtechnot.com/notcuban.html.

Lists 10 of Cuban's books, with links to Amazon.com. Lists a couple of his articles with links to the articles.

Larry Cuban Explores Good Schools in the Sachs Lectures (October 2001) [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/newsbureau/

Larry Cuban Interviewed. November 9, 2001 interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education [Online]. Accessed 11/27/01: http://chronicle.merit.edu/free/

edtechNOT.com [Online]. Accessed 11/9/01: http://www.edtechnot.com/index.html. Quoting from the Website:

edtechNOT.com has been created by Forde Multimedia Consulting to encourage debate on the merits and pit falls of using educational technology in real schools.

I hope that this site will be a refreshing change from the corporate "rah-rah" associated with each new product launch.

It is also hoped that it will encourage those who are feeling battered by the increasingly trendy "techno-phobic" side of the issue.

As all real teachers know, both sides are right... and wrong.

Best of luck

Jim Forde :-)

Ferguson, Sue (June 6, 2005.) How computers make our kids stupid: There's growing evidence that too much cyber-time dumbs down our children. McCleans.CA. Accessed 6/17/05: http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/education/

This article starts out by discussing Canadian schools, and includes some data on them. 3/4 of school age children have access to the internet at home, and the compuer ratio in schools is 1 per 5 students. The article then discusses a large international study that contains informatoin arguing against overly extensive use of computers in schools. Quoting from the article:

Perhaps the most persuasive evidence for taking a more critical view is a broad-reaching and rigorous study published last November. University of Munich economists Thomas Fuchs and Ludger Woessmann analyzed the results of the OECD's PISA international standardized tests. Not only did they tap into a massive subject pool -- 174,000 15-year-olds in reading, 97,000 each in math and science from 31 countries (including Canada) -- but they were also able, because participants filled out extensively detailed surveys, to control for other possible outside influences, something remarkably few studies do. Their results, which are only now starting to make waves among pedagogy experts, confirm what many parents have long intuited: the sheer ubiquity of information technology is getting in the way of learning. Once household income and the wealth of a school's resources are taken out of the equation, teens with the greatest access to computers and the Internet at home and school earn the lowest test scores.

Harlow, Steven (1985). Humanistic Perspectives on Computers in the Schools New York: Haworth Press

This book offers some interesting insights for the discussion of what role computers can and should play in schools. Some of the articles are clearly outdated because computers have changed so much since this was written in 1985. But particularly the philosophical treatise by Maxine Green and the articles from Vito Perrone, Mary Crist and Cecelia Traugh are still very relevant simply because the issues they raise have only become more acute since then.

Healy, Jane M. (1998). Failure to Connect. New York City: Touchstone Books.

From Booklist , September 1, 1998: "Longtime educator and administrator Healy is actually a fan of computers. But she is dismayed that so many people in and out of education hold the almost religious conviction that computers in classrooms equal better learning experiences. Making children computer literate, she argues, in no way guarantees they will develop the cognitive skills they need. In fact, she presents much evidence that computers can help children disconnect intellectually, emotionally, and socially. When examining educational software, for example, Healy finds many problems. Among them: far too many programs are set up to allow the children themselves to select the tasks to be done and the levels of difficulty. She shows how businesses can deceptively package advertisements as computer education, too. But she also provides much practical advice, including methods for choosing good software and numerous activities to foster critical thinking. A must-read for educators, parents, and home-schoolers. Brian McCombie Copyright© 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved."

Hetzner, Amy (8/20/05). Is technology in schools the future or just a fad? It's still unclear if computers upgrade academics. This is a three part series being published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online. Accessed 8/28/05: http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/aug05/349816.asp


The first article contains data on Wisconsin having one computer per three students and the US having roughly one computer per four students. The general flavor of the article is that we have little evidence that this large investment in technology is improving education. There is a quote from Larry Cuban that suggests he believes we are making improvements in our use of computer technology in schools.

Learning in the Real World [Online]. Accessed 2/14/02: http://www.realworld.org/morereading.html.

A collections of materials from 2000 and before that provide arguments against use of technology in education.

McWilliam, Erica and Peter G. Taylor (1996). Pedagogy, Technology and the Body New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

This book offers a feminist critique of the role of technology in pedagogy. It incorporates elements of critical pedagogy with a feminist focus on re-embodying the education system and the way we perceive ourselves in relation to science and technology. I think this resource could be very valuable for evaluating what technology is doing for teaching from a feminist perspective, although its focus is broader than mere educational technology.

Oppenheimer, Todd (Atlantic Monthly, July 1997) The Computer Delusion [Online]. Accessed 2/14/02: http://www.theatlantic.com/

This article sparked widespread reaction and debate at the time it was published. It summarizes many of the arguments against widespread use of computers in schools. Quoting from the abstract:
There is no good evidence that most uses of computers significantly improve teaching and learning, yet school districts are cutting programs -- music, art, physical education -- that enrich children's lives to make room for this dubious nostrum, and the Clinton Administration has embraced the goal of "computers in every classroom" with credulous and costly enthusiasm.

Quoting the first two paragraphs of the article:

In 1922 Thomas Edison predicted that "the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and ... in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks." Twenty-three years later, in 1945, William Levenson, the director of the Cleveland public schools' radio station, claimed that "the time may come when a portable radio receiver will be as common in the classroom as is the blackboard." Forty years after that the noted psychologist B. F. Skinner, referring to the first days of his "teaching machines," in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote, "I was soon saying that, with the help of teaching machines and programmed instruction, students could learn twice as much in the same time and with the same effort as in a standard classroom." Ten years after Skinner's recollections were published, President Bill Clinton campaigned for "a bridge to the twenty-first century ... where computers are as much a part of the classroom as blackboards." Clinton was not alone in his enthusiasm for a program estimated to cost somewhere between $40 billion and $100 billion over the next five years. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, talking about computers to the Republican National Committee early this year, said, "We could do so much to make education available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, that people could literally have a whole different attitude toward learning."

If history really is repeating itself, the schools are in serious trouble. In Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 (1986), Larry Cuban, a professor of education at Stanford University and a former school superintendent, observed that as successive rounds of new technology failed their promoters' expectations, a pattern emerged. The cycle began with big promises backed by the technology developers' research. In the classroom, however, teachers never really embraced the new tools, and no significant academic improvement occurred. This provoked consistent responses: the problem was money, spokespeople argued, or teacher resistance, or the paralyzing school bureaucracy. Meanwhile, few people questioned the technology advocates' claims. As results continued to lag, the blame was finally laid on the machines. Soon schools were sold on the next generation of technology, and the lucrative cycle started all over again.

Oppenheimer, Todd (2003). The Flickering Mind. .For some informatoin about this book see the newspaper article By Bob Blaisdell, Special to The Christian Science Monitor, Accessed 10/21/03: http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1014/p20s02-lecl.htm. Quoting from the article:

What impact has computer technology had on public education in the US? That's the question journalist Todd Oppenheimer sets out to answer in "The Flickering Mind."

Mr. Oppenheimer's conclusion: Putting computers in classrooms has been almost entirely wasteful, and the rush to keep schools up-to-date with the latest technology has been largely pointless.

"At this early stage of the personal computer's history, the technology is far too complex and error prone to be smoothly integrated into most classrooms," Oppenheimer writes. "While the technology business is creatively frantic, financially strapped public schools cannot afford to keep up with the innovations."

Postman, Neil

Note Added 10/10/03, quoted from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/09/obituaries/09POST.html

Neil Postman, 72, Mass Media Critic, Dies

Published: October 9, 2003

Neil Postman, a prolific and influential social critic and educator best known for his warning that an era of mass communications is stunting the minds of children — as well as adults — died on Sunday at a hospital in Flushing, Queens. He was 72 and lived in Flushing.

The cause was lung cancer, said a spokesman for New York University, where Dr. Postman taught for more than 40 years.

He held a chair in the field he called media ecology, and his career was a long-distance joust with what he saw as the polluting effects of television.

Dr. Postman's core message was that an immersion in a media environment shaped children's lives to their detriment, and society's.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Some of his writings are available on the Web [Online]. Accessed 2/14/02: http://www.preservenet.com/theory/

Postman, Neil (Denver, Colorado, March 27, 1998). Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change.Quoting from the Website:

The first idea is that all technological change is a trade-off. I like to call it a Faustian bargain. Technology giveth and technology taketh away. This means that for every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage. The disadvantage may exceed in importance the advantage, or the advantage may well be worth the cost. Now, this may seem to be a rather obvious idea, but you would be surprised at how many people believe that new technologies are unmixed blessings. You need only think of the enthusiasms with which most people approach their understanding of computers. Ask anyone who knows something about computers to talk about them, and you will find that they will, unabashedly and relentlessly, extol the wonders of computers. You will also find that in most cases they will completely neglect to mention any of the liabilities of computers. This is a dangerous imbalance, since the greater the wonders of a technology, the greater will be its negative consequences.

Postman, Neil (1993, paperback edition). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, New York, Vintage Books.

From Kirkus Reviews. Postman (Conscientious Objections, 1988, etc.) once more cuts across the grain as an important critic of our national culture, this time arguing that America has become the world's first ``totalitarian technocracy''--otherwise known as a ``Technopoly.'' Postman starts out from the long view, showing that while every human culture becomes ``tool-using,'' the use of those tools doesn't necessarily change that culture's beliefs, ideology, or world view. In ``technocracy,'' however (for us, this stage began to burgeon in the industrial 19th century), there's a change: tools (they're now called ``technology'') begin to alter the culture instead of just being used by it: ``tools...attack the culture. They bid to become the culture.'' And technocracy becomes Technopoly when tools win the battle for dominance and become the sole determiners of a culture's purpose and meaning, and in fact of its very way of knowing and thinking--or of not thinking. The tools, in other words, come not only to use us but to define what we are--which is ``why in a Technopoly there can be no transcendent sense of purpose of meaning, no cultural coherence.'' So desolate a view of generalized inversion and ideological collapse fails to subdue either Postman's humane and faithful energy or his unflagging quickness of mind as he travels from Copernicus, Descartes, and Francis Bacon on through discussions of modern bureaucracy, concepts of worker ``management,'' the intellectual hollowness of social ``science'' and its monster-children of poll- taking and IQ testing--these and others (schools, TV, the computer ``culture'') all being ``technologies'' that in fact are ``without a moral center,'' yet ones that we insistently revere and haplessly measure ourselves by, because ``we have become blind to the ideological meaning of our technologies.'' Amusing, learned, and prickling with intelligence, Postman easily outclasses the Allan Bloomians in the grave work of showing how it is that we've now stumbled our way into 1984--and offers, at end, some modest suggestions as to what to do about it. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Roszak, Theodore (1986) The Cult of Information: A Neo Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking. New York: Pantheon Books.

From the back cover: "As we devote ever-increasing resources to providing, or prohibiting, access to information via computer, Theodore Roszak reminds us that voluminous information does not necessarily lead to sound thinking. "Data Glut" obscures basic questions of justice and purpose and may even hinder rather enhance our productivity. In this revised and updated edition (2nd) of The Cult of Information, Rosak examines the place of computer technology in our culture in the 1990's"

Shanks, Roger (Column #11, July 2000). Educational Outrage: Are Computers the Bad Guys in Education? [Online]. ( Accessed 2/17/02: http://www.ils.nwu.edu/edoutrage/

Roger Shanks is a strong proponent of use of computers in education, but a strong oponent of misuse. His articles tend to include a strong emphasis on minuse. Quoting from this brief article:
Recently ads have been running in prestigious newspapers asking: "If computers in the schools are the answer, are we asking the right question?" It is a call to parents to take action against the tremendous expenditures being made to get computers into the schools. The ad brings up the issue of whether computers are really all that valuable in schools and suggests that they may even be harmful.

This is an important issue and it matters that people understand it properly. The organizations that sponsored this ad are probably well meaning enough. The recent findings they cite to support their arguments against using computers in the schools are accurate and right headed. Nevertheless, the message is dead wrong and its writers need to understand why.

Computers are being used in the schools in the wrong way. They are being put in the schools at tremendous expense because educators and politicians see computers as a way of improving education without really knowing why.

Access to the Web is often cited as being very important to education, for example, but is it? The problem in the schools is not that the libraries are insufficient. The Web is, at its best, an improvement on information access. It provides a better library for kids, but the library wasn't what was broken.

Computer programs that teach math are often cited as being improvements in education. But the ad cites studies that say these programs are of no proven value, that they really don't improve a student's performance in math. Are they right? Probably. But again, the problem is that they have misunderstood the issue.

Computers will save our schools -- eventually. But they will definitely not save our schools by raising math scores. Saying that computers don't raise math scores as a way of criticizing computers is like saying that computers don't make the food in the school cafeteria taste better. No, they don't, but should they?

Sloan, Douglas (1985). The Computer in Education: A Critical Perspective New York: Teachers College Press.

There is no doubt as to what perspective this collection of articles comes from. It offers a wide variety of arguments that tend to imply a desire for less computers in schools. Most discussions are quite thorough and the authors make very compelling arguments. Once again, the fact that this was published in 1985 does not change the conclusions reached (if anything, things have gotten worse than anticipated back then...), although the details may be from the past.

Stoll, Cliford (1995). Silicon Snake Oil : Second Thoughts on the Information Highway.

From Booklist. When a computer expert has second thoughts about the information highway, we should slow down and listen. Stoll is skeptical of the overblown promises of technology mavens, government officials, industry hacks, and educators that, he says, first produce bloated expectations and then burst bubbles. "Lotus-eaters, beware," he writes, virtual reality is no substitute for the real thing: computers alter our thinking processes; they isolate us and minimize social interactions; they are expensive and difficult to use; and they become obsolete in a few years. The Internet is a disorganized waste land, and E-mail isn't as good as the U.S. Postal Service. In chapter 11, Stoll expresses fear for the future of libraries: too much of libraries' resources are being devoted to technology, he says, and not enough to books and librarians. Ultimately, though, Stoll contradicts himself too often: in one sentence, he fears the demise of libraries; in the next, he states why book-based libraries won't disappear. What's more, he undermines his argument's seriousness with comic footnotes and deliberately improper grammar. Still, his book signals the first wave in the backlash against the race to the future that computer technology now represents. Benjamin Segedin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Waks, Leonard J. (1995). Technology's School: The Challenge to Philosophy. CT: JAI Press, Inc.

This book has an interesting thesis, which could be grossly simplified to be that education is in itself a form of technology that manipulates the world and is in turn manipulated by it. The author examines various writers' perspectives and puts them into his own account in a very compelling and interesting way. This is clearly a book about the philosophy of technology but it has some very deep insights into what the role of technology in conjunction with education can and should be.

Warhaftig, Alan (May 29, 2002). Web-Based Learning: But the Prom Will Not Be Webcast [Online]. Education Week. Accessed 5/31/02: http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=38warhaftig.h21. Quoting from the article beginning of the article:

Educators may be pillars of the community, but their discourse is as mercurial as Paris fashion. Desperate to find a magic bullet to cure education's woes, many are willing to embrace new curricula and unproven pedagogies, believing that anything different must necessarily be good. Educators' current fascination with technology is a vivid example.

There was a time, not long ago, when advocates of educational technology gushed about the prospect of schoolchildren exchanging e-mails with world-class experts on everything. The idea was exciting, even if these world-class experts were hard-pressed to find time to reply to e-mails from each other, let alone from tens of millions of American schoolchildren. Eventually, that rosy vision receded into the distance.


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