Professor Hazlett on Classroom Computers vs. Thinking Skills

Professor Thomas W. Hazlett argues that the current emphasis on computer use in the classroom may actually divert funds from other necessary components of classroom education, such as books and teacher training, in a Financial Times article published this 

Are Computers Educational,, May 31, 2006. By Thomas W. Hazlett.

At worst, the classroom PC sucks up valuable oxygen, diverting youngsters from frog dissections, multiplication tables, and the A,B,Cs. These nurture the brain in time-tested exercises. The test of time may appear a weak empirical standard, but the asserted correlation between smart boxes and smart students is weaker still. As Clifford Stoll opined a decade ago about educational TV and classroom PCs: 'Both give you the sensation that merely by watching a screen, you can acquire information without work and discipline.'

"There is no reason to quarantine curious little ones from the Information Age. My experience with the primary school set (assisted by daughters of six and eight), however, is that they grasp the networking nuances that escape their elders, pretty much by the age of three. They conquer this universe in playtime; it's kiddie R&R. The common problem is not exposing them to too little of the online world, but too much. Play an instrument, enjoy a sport, read a classic and then plop down to several decades of logging on."

Read the article.