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


Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
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.
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
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.
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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 E-Rate Money for Cybersecurity? The FCC Is About to Get an Earful From Schools
There are some strong, opposing opinions about whether the federal program should pay for cybersecurity.
4 min read
Illustration of Internet network data computer laptop security shield and lock symbol.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy All That Ed Tech Schools Bought During the Pandemic Won’t Improve Equity. Here's Why
Product design, limited organizational capacity, and the dangers of digital surveillance are all barriers, four experts told Education Week.
6 min read
v42 16 sr equity tech 112322
Illustration by Chris Whetzel for Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Schools Need More Money for Students' Home Internet, Education Groups Tell Congress
Most K-12 students are back to learning in-person, but the homework gap persists and millions of students could lose their home internet.
3 min read
Photograph of a young girl reading, wearing headphones and working at her desk at home with laptop near by.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Ed-Tech Policy What Educators Should Know About Biden's 'AI Bill of Rights'
The White House outlined some core principles that address the pitfalls of artificial intelligence.
5 min read
Image shows a conceptual circuit board with "AI" grid lit up in the center.