Revolution In The Classroom?
We read "The Learning Revolution" (Special Report, Feb. 28) with great anticipation. It was a great introduction into the increasing need to integrate technology into education.
We kept reading in hopes of finding the schools in the U.S. that are currently making attempts to do this. But the article ended with the impression that education has not recognized the need for this yet.
The reason we were so interested is because we teach in a Technology Magnet School that reopened in 1992 with a vision for using technology as a tool in the classroom, not in a lab situation. We are very proud of our vision and that of our district, Academy District 20.
Our school has approximately one computer for every five students. Computers are fully networked (over an Ethernet system) to two server computers, which allow students to access applications and their own data files from anywhere in the building. Students also can access Internet, and many have established communications with other children all over the world, from Australia to Moscow.
Our point is that there are schools out there that have a vision of the future and what it means to our children and their education. Investigating these schools would be a great follow-up article and would let the public know that educators are looking to the future.
Third Grade Teacher
Fifth Grade Teacher
Mountain View Elementary School
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Your Cover Story understates the absolute paradigm conflict between the technologies of schooling and of learning. Education is something done to people; learning is what people are genetically designed to do for themselves. The term "edutainment" echoes the phrase "horseless carriage:" It implicitly recognizes that something new has arrived while clinging pathetically to the vestige of a dead era.
The technology you call edutainment actually is one of the threads of the hyperlearning matrix that not only spells the end of teaching but forms the core process technology of every 21st century business. It's the new technology of adult work, and workers will demand the same for the children.
Lewis J. Perelman
Business leaders, intent on education reform through top-down legislation, need to understand the bottom-up change that technology brings to schools, much as it did to many of their own downsized corporations.
Business must help our public schools invest in the very technology they say is critical to the future information worker they'll employ.
If we insist that the students learn something rather than be entertained, we will fall back on the only educational tool that works, that is guaranteed to work--that tried-and-true tool--the book.
Laugh if you will, but to learn trigonometry one must sit there with the book under the tensor lamp, sweating into the night reading the material and struggling with the problems.
Gerald A. Fisher, Chairman
Physics & Astronomy Dept.
San Francisco State University