With this as a title in one of Steven Downes’ posts, I was interested! He was commenting (vociferously), on an article by Terry Freedman, about a keynote speech given at the Naace Conference – by John Clare. John Clare is an Education journalist for the Daily Telegraph– and is fairly anti technology. So, it was a brave decision to invite him – and he was brave to accept. His main point, according to Freedman, was that there isn’t the hard evidence to support the fact that increasing technology in schools leads to improving standards.
Freedman summarised the main points of his talk as:
1. ICT has a number of important potential benefits for education.
2. The degree of hype and misplaced funding has been such that the potential real benefits are being obscured by illusory ones.
3. After massive funding in the UK (around £4bn so far) over the last decade, the research evidence about ICT’s effectiveness in raising attainment is still either superficial or ambiguous.
4. Much of the software we laud is actually anti-educational: it institutionalises short attention span, and provides a raucous, cacophonous environment which is anything but conducive to learning.
The debate, on Steven’s site, is worth reading.