Technology hasn’t transformed education, but that could be changing, writes Steve Lohr in the New York Times.
Until recently, computing in the classroom amounted to students doing Internet searches, sending e-mail and mastering word processing, presentation programs and spreadsheets. Thatâ€™s useful stuff, to be sure, but not something that alters how schools work.
The new Web education networks can open the door to broader changes. Parents become more engaged because they can monitor their childrenâ€™s attendance, punctuality, homework and performance, and can get tips for helping them at home. Teachers can share methods, lesson plans and online curriculum materials.
Transformative? Or steps in the right direction?
Lohr thinks technology facilitates project-based learning, but his example — telling students to spend two weeks developing a U.S. energy policy — doesn’t require any technology that hasn’t been around for awhile. Internet searching isn’t new. Project-based learning isn’t new.
I think online learning will transform career education: Many adults trying to qualify for a better job will find it convenient to take online courses. I’m still not persuaded it will change K-12 education fundamentally. If so, we’re not there yet.