This New York Times opinion piece by Susan Pinker wisely questions the role of technology in improving achievement.
The results are in and — surprise! — computers are not the panacea they are touted to be. Pinker points to research showing a decline in achievement among disadvantaged students once they gained access to technology. Why? Pinker speculates that many students use the technology for web surfing unrelated to school. She also highlights the ways over-reliance on technology can weaken social skills.
So what do we do? The article gives us some good places to start: Use technology in ways that support learning rather than using technology as an end in itself in the quest for “innovation.” We also believe that meaningful content can increase student engagement. Most importantly, we must invest in what matters most in the classroom: a quality teacher.