Information Technology and Educational Amnesia

Waves of enthusiasm for technological innovations that promise to revitalize teaching and learning are at least a century old.  Unfortunately, the record of accomplishment for the many varieties of hardware and software introduced into the schools over the decades is remarkably thin.  Today’s promoters of technology in education tend to forget similar efforts in the past, launching forth with initiatives that use the latest hardware and software, as if such projects were unprecedented. While initiatives like the iClass network in Europe show considerable promise, their development would benefit from recalling the history of earlier attempts to develop and market sophisticated technical instruments for the schools.  Reflection up basic philosophical questions about teaching and learning can help us decide which technical devices are of genuine value and which are not.

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