Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

In Education Technology, Less May Still Be More

June 14, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

There was nothing new in your reporting for the special issue (“Electronic Transfer,” Technology Counts 2005 May 5, 2005), which suggests that the Bush administration has concluded that technology’s effects on learning are not worth the investment.

In 1978, when computers were just coming on the classroom scene, I worked as an educational researcher and was asked by the U.S. secretary of health, education, and welfare to prepare a blueprint on the future federal role in classroom technology. After reviewing the research on computers in schools, I advised the secretary to forget it: Computers in education were nothing more than costly toys and of no educational merit.

I always felt some pride in believing that my report played a role in keeping the federal government from wasting money on computers in schools for about five years. It makes me feel even better to learn that: (1) I staved off this waste even longer than I hoped, as you referenced only “a decade of federal investments in educational technology” (“Bush vs. Clinton,” Technology Counts 2005 May 5, 2005.), (2) the Carter and Bush administrations agreed on something concerning the wise spending of taxpayer money; and (3) I was right, 30 years ago, when I advised schools to keep this junk out of the classroom.

Keith Baker

Heber City, Utah

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