21 August 2010

If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

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Kids and computers
There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools. But, says David Theo Goldberg in a sophisticated article on DMLcentral, when computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.

“Unlike television, and perhaps more like automobiles, computers are far from passive consumptive technologies. They enable, if not encourage, interactive engagement, creativity, and participatory interaction with others. The interaction can assume various forms, not all productive. Yet like the appealing impacts of both television and automobile access for youth, the productive and creative capacities of computing technology for ordinary users are staggering. The question then is not the false dilemma between unqualified good and evil, but how best to enable the productive learning possibilities of new digital technologies.”

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