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Re: Who really benefits from putting high-tech gadgets in classrooms?

Re: the LA Times piece on the dubious promise of education technology…

In 1991, In an article for the California School Boards Journal discussing the future of Learning and Educational Technology I wrote:

“Systems capable of totally transforming our relationship with information, of providing a new (learner) interface to recorded knowledge, will ultimately prove to be very cost-effective. But, so long as the role of educational technology is viewed in terms of isolated subject mastery rather than as a mediator of a new general relationship, albeit one a ways off, its evolution as a force in educational evolution will remain mis-directed and what I have described will not be considered relevant.“

At the time I was an outside consultant for Apple University and was frequently used by Apple’s international education marketing manager to give visiting educational officials my ‘future of learning’ talk. I had invented an inexpensive E-book for learning in 87 and had many people at Apple behind me but The VP of education at Apple dismissed it on the grounds that it would “contaminate Macintosh sales”.

I am very grateful for all that Apple has brought into the world. And, they are just one of many forces working against the kind of healthy learning that technology could make possible.

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