This morning's news brings the exciting headlines Education Technology Isn't Helping
, and Study: No benefit going high-tech for math and science
, because of a new study released today by the US Department of Education.
Duh - this is old news, there has been decades of research showing that drilling kids does nothing, even if you pretty up it up with fancy names and graphics.
But our language for this stuff is so limited. The headlines SHOULD read, "Bad Educational Practice Proved Ineffective, Again!
" But no, it gets called "educational software" or "educational technology", and immediately gets tied to EETT funding. It's an obvious conclusion, although the Washington Post gets it sort of right, Software's Benefits on Tests In Doubt: Study Says Tools Don't Raise...
OK, if I thought test scores mattered, I might care about that.
But here's what I care about.
Now, every time we talk about kids doing interesting stuff that involves a computer, we'll get hit with this. Podcasting, programming, blogging, collaboration, projects, kids making games, exploring virtual worlds, GIS, Google Earth? What are you thinking, haven't you heard? Educational Technology Doesn't Work.
Here's what's worse:
1. These publishers are getting off scot-free. Why is the USDOE not publishing the actual evaluation of the individual software products. Isn't this public information? This allows the publishers to hide behind the report and continue to claim that their individual studies are valid.
2. The apologists will shortly come out. "It's just bad implementation." "Teacher's need more support." This makes it better? C'mon, people, let's speak the truth and make meaningful distinctions between educational software that pretends to replace teachers and technology that gives students agency and supports a learning community.
Argh. I have to work harder.