That’s the closing statement in an article summarizing a new study debunking the claim that giving out computers to poor families will somehow improve their educational and economic status. Researchers set out to determine whether providing free computers would close the wealth gap between rich and poor families. Surprise! It didn’t.
As I said in a blog post a year ago, I’m not opposed to new technology in schools. And I do think that it’s unfair that one child growing up in a wealthy community has the latest gadgets, but another child in poverty doesn’t. But when it comes to education, I am strongly opposed to seeing technology as a panacea, rather than as a tool toward higher goals and in the service of a clear and compelling mission.
Let’s fix the basic aspects of school environments–the ones we have always known are the most important for children’s development and learning–and then worry about the gadgets.