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

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
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

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 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
Ed-Tech Policy Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last?
Time and money are running out on temporary agreements between districts and ISPs. Broadband advocates want a federal solution.
10 min read
Cupped hands hold a precious wi-fi symbol
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Digital Vision Vectors/Getty
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
Ed-Tech Policy Whitepaper
Using E-rate Funds to Enhance School Networks
This guide offers a roadmap to help K-12 leaders successfully leverage federal funds to expand digital learning opportunities for their students.
Content provided by Spectrum Enterprise
Ed-Tech Policy FCC Takes One Step Closer to Offering E-Rate Funds for Remote Learning Technology
Advocates have urged the FCC to loosen its rules on E-Rate funds so schools can pay for technology that helps students learn remotely.
2 min read
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP