To the Editor:
It is amazing how Jack Schneider in his Commentary “Tech for All?” (Oct. 5, 2011) repeats the same discredited arguments made in a recent New York Times article about technology in the Kyrene school district in Tempe, Ariz. What Kyrene is doing is cramming and overlaying technology toys (smartboards, etc.) on top of the traditional way education is delivered in America’s classrooms. The potential of technology to transform the way our children learn in the 21st century does not lie in the proliferation of gadgets, but in blending online content with a new kind of pedagogy provided by teachers in the classroom.
In all other fields, the use of technology has enabled us as workers to be more productive, more collaborative, and more effective. We need to empower our teachers to enhance their profession by making available to them the information they need to offer differentiated learning to each one of their students, thereby improving their performance. The canard in the Commentary about this being the “new thing” of school reformers with “a new, entrepreneurially oriented theory of change” overlooks the inevitable spread of technology itself and the insoluble human-capital problem we face. Isn’t it time we rethink the learning enterprise?
San Francisco, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2011 edition of Education Week as We Need to Empower Teachers With Technology