Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Sometimes blogs only contain one item, and the blogger becomes one lone voice with one lone purpose. This appears to be one of those items. I link it, however, because the one lone question, how do we deal with the new opportunities for plagiarism effectively, is worth chewing on for a while.

The Concerned Professor

Read the blog post. Then read the comments, the majority of which castigate the writer for being a "lazy" teacher or a whiner or a plant from the "Student of Fortune" website described. What is happening in this world?

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Computer in Every Lap?

I haven't even read this article and I feel compelled to post.

"Saying No To School Laptops"

I'm not a big fan of laptop initiatives, especially when it comes to primary and secondary education. My friends may find this funny, since my primary research interests and my livelihood are inextricably tied to the use of technology in the classroom. Let me explain.

I have yet to see a "killer app" for educational purposes, an application of technology that eclipses any of the more conventional methods of learning AND necessitates 24/7 access to a computer. Students don't need them to learn. Administrators, hardware and software manufacturers, parents, and teachers extol the values of increased access to technology, but I haven't heard or seen one compelling argument or piece of evidence that demonstrates a clear educational advantage.

Don't get me wrong: students need to learn to navigate technology to be employable in the current workforce. They should learn to do basic tasks on a computer. But that doesn't mean that the computer should be considered on par with the textbook, the notebook, the pen or pencil. It just means it should be available to them, in a lab setting, where they can practice.

What do laptop programs REALLY teach students? They teach them how to be good consumers of technology. When we start teaching students to master and create the technology, then I may reconsider my opinion.

I guess I should read that article now.