Schools and Technology
There’s more good stuff at Education Next. Here’s a forum on the subject of technology in K–12 education. John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe think that technology will radically transform the sector, while Larry Cuban is more cautious and maintains that reformers are too quick to buy the latest gadget for every classroom.
I think that technology has the potential to change the market and the way educational services are delivered to students. Virtual schools bring competition to areas where there was none before, and help break the connection between where a student lives and his learning environment. They bring enrichment opportunities to students who once had only the foreign languages and electives offered by their local schools to choose from.
However, curriculum and learning processes will evolve more slowly. “Virtual” students take tests and complete assignments online, but they still read books and practice handwriting. Although they have more subjects to choose from than their counterparts in brick-and-mortar schools, they don’t study them in radically different ways. A student learning Chinese online will memorize vocabulary and learn to write just as a student studying French in a classroom would.