Wednesday, February 11, 2004

  1. The Valentine article, I feel, offered a very interesting analysis of how children's social practices need to be taken into account to understand the question of computers in the schools. While they state that they are striving to understand "how [children and technology] are transformed by and transforming of each other," (15) in the end it seems that they are more interested in "challenging" the patterns of some students not developing into full technological proficiency. This seems determinist to me in that I'm not sure that we want to turn all students into computer programmers. How much proficiency do students need to develop as a baseline?

  2. In Cuban's "The Promise of the Computer" chapter, he insists that we address the question of should computers be used in classroom rather than how computers be used in the classroom. To me, this seems a little backwards. Unless there is an understanding of the capability of a technology, it seems useless to attempt to make a final judgment of its use. Don't each of his 3 points of argument (cost effectiveness, mechanization of teaching, and impact on children) greatly depend on how well the technology is being implemented. (For example, see the success of television on p. 35)

  3. An issue that I felt was missing from the readings was the training of teachers to both use the technology and to think of creative ways to integrate it into their pedagogy. While it was addressed to some degree in the Cuban book in the context of other technologies, and in Valentine very briefly (8), it was absent from other computer and Internet discussions we have reviewed. To what degree does the issue of integrating computers into teaching style (funding training, etc.) play into the educational aspect of digital divides?

-john t

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