As a physicist, educator and father of five, I can say that Messrs. Duncan and Hastings do not understand education or the role of computer and Internet technology in it. A well-thought-out textbook or a live classroom demonstration does a much better job of conveying understanding than anything that can be done with computer or Internet technology.Speaking of well-thought-out textbooks, one of the most oppressive aspects of "technology" in the schools is the replacement of textbooks by packets, which are fantastically difficult to keep track of, not just for the student but for the teacher, too. I speak as a creator of packets: I'm driving myself crazy.
Anyone who has watched students using these technologies will recognize that they are distractions from the hard work of education.
Professor of Physics
More technology isn't the answer to our educational needs
WSJ | September 24, 2011
It wasn't always thus. Back in the day, teachers ran off those damp, great-smelling, purple-print mimeographs. But mimeos were a limited production; teacher packeting didn't take off until the advent of the Xerox machine. I predict things are only going to get worse as people start buying personal scanners.
Add Google to photocopiers and scanners and you get all-packets-all-the-time.
I tutor a boy in a neighboring town who doesn't appear to have a math textbook at all, and not because the school is using Terc. Last I heard, the school is using Terc, but the only book the teachers are actually using (it appears) is a test prep book from one of the test prep book companies. The teachers Xerox one-page review lessons out of the test prep book for the kids to collect in their binders. The paper-punch holes last a couple of weeks, then the sheets tear loose and slip out of the binder and down to the bottom of the backpack, where they live until the summer, when Mom goes through the crumpled wads of paper and tosses it all out.
Or, alternatively, when Mom goes through the crumpled wads of paper and discovers her child has failed two out of six units in math this year. On fractions! tofix to revise to fix torevise
Speaking of worksheets, does anyone know where to get a complete set of Prentice-Hall's fantastic grammar worksheets? (pdf file)
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