Would providing each student with a laptop computer revolutionize education? Laptop advocates believe that, just as all students have important educational tools like pencils and paper, they should each have access to their own computer. But are one-to-one laptop initiatives worth the cost?
In this Education Week Commentary, education historian Larry Cuban questions the direct impact of technology on student achievement. Like putting a piano in every classroom without considering who will be teaching students how to play it, merely giving each student a laptop will not raise achievement, he writes. Eager school boards, enthused at the prospect of being the first to achieve a one-to-one ratio, often confuse the piano with the music, the computer with the teacher. A computer, he cautions, is not what teachers do in a classroom. Rather, it is only a vehicle for teaching and learning.
What do you think? Does technology improve achievement? Would giving every student a laptop computer transform education? Or does the teacher still matter most?
A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.