Slashdot readers discuss computers in the classroom, set off by a review of Todd Oppenheimer’s new book, The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved. Like Oppenheimer, most Slashdotters are techno-skeptics, but not Luddites.
I was struck by this quote from the book:
“When employers who were fretting about this gap were asked what skills mattered to them, this is what they said: Most important of all is a deep and broad base of knowledge. “Want to get a job using information technology to solve problems? Know something about the problems that need to be solved.” This statement reflected the sentiments of nearly two thirds of the Information Technology Association of America’s members. Following far behind this priority was “hands-on experience” with technical work, which less than half the nation’s IT managers considered critical (Most apparently felt perfectly capable of teaching those skills on the job.)
One of the great fallacies in education today is the idea that students don’t need to know things because they can look everything up on the Internet. Without a base of knowledge, people can’t understand and evaluate what flickers on the screen.