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Stop press: Shlepping a chunk of plastic and wires does not improve your grades.

Winnie Hu from the NYT writes about schools ditching their laptop programmes for lack of results . A must read.
When the school tightened its network security, a 10th grader not only found a way around it but also posted step-by-step instructions on the Web for others to follow (which they did).
Wow. Talk about problem solving. Collaborative learning. These kids are obviously learning something. Well, the school, and the reporter, where not that impressed
Yet school officials here and in several other places said laptops had been abused by students, did not fit into lesson plans, and showed little, if any, measurable effect on grades and test scores at a time of increased pressure to meet state standards.
That is surprising, given the reports from Maine
Attendance is up. Detentions are down. Just six months after Maine began a controversial program to provide laptop computers to every seventh grader in the state, educators are impressed by how quickly students and teachers have adapted to laptop technology."
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/05/nyregion/05LAPT.html?ex=1179268008&ei=1&en=469140e27abd5a63

"You hear kids say: I feel smarter now", "some say it has transformed the relationships between students and teachers"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4660781


The answer is at the end of the article. A teacher is quoted:
“Let’s face it, math is for the most part still a paper-and-pencil activity when you’re learning it,” she said.
In the early 19C schools in America and Europe introduced slates and number frames as means for maths instruction. Until then, the standard method was - a teacher reading out of a text book, and students chanting after. Exams were oral, and students were expected to recite textbook proofs down to variable names. I can see the Winnie Hu of the day quoting a teacher:
"Let's face it, learning maths is still for the most part repeating after the teacher. A slate just gets in the way."

posted by Yishay Mor on Friday 4th, May 2007 (11:16) - comments (0) - permanent link


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