Opinion
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

Reader Faults ‘Digital Reach’ Report as Lacking Skepticism on Ed Tech

February 09, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I found your recent section on digital learning very disappointing.

Too many articles in this “special” report read like a paid promotion of software products without adequate reference to evidence that these products work to improve learning, no less lead to “higher-order thinking skills,” as claimed. You owe it to your readers to produce this evidence.

Indeed, I would argue that there are very few, if any, good studies indicating that outsourcing instruction to software companies works in K-12 education—and growing evidence that the reliance on computers and software will actually widen the achievement gap, as well as lead to increasing depersonalization and exploitation of students for commercial purposes. There are a growing number of informed critics and skeptics of the education technology craze. Why aren’t any of them quoted in this collection of articles?

I am also disappointed by the articles on “Data Dashboard Priorities”data dashboards and the use of career-planning technology by students, because there is no attention given to how these products could also work to limit students’ opportunities and future successes. I would argue that there’s actually far more evidence that the use of this technology could have damaging effects on students via the Golem effect than have a positive impact on their futures. The risk to student privacy is another great concern that is touched on only briefly in a few of these pieces.

There are many parents who are very alarmed by the move toward online learning and see this trend as driven by profit rather than good sense or research evidence.

Leonie Haimson

Co-Chair, Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Executive Director, Class Size Matters

New York, N.Y.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2016 edition of Education Week as Reader Faults ‘Digital Reach’ Report as Lacking Skepticism on Ed Tech

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Webinar
How Does Educator Well-Being Impact Social-Emotional Awareness in Schools?
Explore how adult well-being is key to promoting healthy social-emotional behaviors for students. Get strategies to reduce teacher stress.
Content provided by International Baccalaureate

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Reported Essay Remote Learning Isn’t Just for Emergencies
Schools were less prepared for digital learning than they thought they were.
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Opinion Why Are We Turning Our Backs on Remote Learning?
Neither the detractors nor defenders of remote learning are fully in the right, argues one superintendent.
Theresa Rouse
5 min read
Illustration of girl working on computer at home.
Getty
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor Using E-Rate to Address the Homework Gap
The FCC's E-rate program can provide relief to many families, says this letter author from the Internet Society.
1 min read
Ed-Tech Policy Q&A Acting FCC Chair: The 'Homework Gap' Is an 'Especially Cruel' Reality During the Pandemic
Under the new leadership of Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC is exploring broadening the E-Rate to cover home-connectivity needs.
5 min read
Internet connectivity doesn't reach all the houses
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty