Sunday, June 07, 2009

How You're Going to Use That Learning Software Without Computers, I Don't Know

Clayton M. Christensen and Michael B. Horn say:

First, don't fund technology that simply shoves computers and other technologies into existing classrooms. We've spent well over $60 billion in the last two decades doing just that, and there is now overwhelming evidence that when we do it, the current unsatisfactory system co-opts the technology to sustain itself.

OK... no computers for classrooms because that hasn't worked; instead we should invest in bandwidth -- which we've also invested tens of billions in, in fact, much more consistently via the federal government than any other kind of technology investment. But hasn't that also been equally co-opted by existing classrooms?

We should invest in "learning software," another area in which we've spent tens of billions of dollars over the past three decades to little effect, with little demonstrated capacity for producing and distributing effective "learning software."

And we should embrace "disruptive training organizations that are providing comparable educators at lower cost, such as Teach for America" which costs their donors almost $27,000 ($110,000,000/4100) above the cost of the TFAer's top flight undergraduate education and the cost to districts of giving full pay to what are essentially first year student teachers.

Also, fixing that leaky ceiling in your classroom will just prop up the status quo, so don't get rid of those buckets.

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