Monday, March 21, 2005

Students Do Better Without Computers

From Slashdot:
The more access they had to computers at home, the lower they scored in tests, partly because they diverted attention from homework.
Of course this comes as no surprise to me. As a rather skilled computer tech (if I may say so myself), I've long been a advocate in putting forward the notion that computers are a royal waste of time in the classroom, and more broadly, in education in general. Sure, I loved PCs in the classroom because I wanted to learn so programming, etc.; but even when I was in school, I never saw what the benefit was to playing Math Lander, or any of the other educrap that's put out for computers.

It bothers me all the more than many of the people who push PCs in the classroom, have no idea what purpose it's supposed to serve. It's almost as if they hope the 'magic box' (which is actually just a glorified calculator) will divulge knowledge via osmosis just by its very presence. Many educrats also push PCs in the hope that their institution will be viewed as a 'real school'. Parents reinforce this misconception by using the computer-to-student ratio as a rough guide as to how good a school is.

Truth be told, computers are too intricate to make instructing on general knowledge worthwhile. There are people at my work who use Excel religiously, but may have never even opened Word on their system, and vice-versa; and that's just one example of usage.

Does one really think that shoving a bunch of computers into an operation like Cleveland Public would do one lick off good?

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