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01 February 2005: Rocks and Chalkboards (4 of 6)

Now, let’s again address current ideas of technology in the classroom. Computers and associated costs make up a huge portion of school spending each year. They are supposed to better equip our students for success in ‘the real world,’ and often are expected to help teachers manage the many demands put on them for assessment and record keeping.

A critical pedagogue, Apple reminds us to question things we often take for granted in our own classrooms—in this case, technology. When it comes to implementing new technology, Apple reminds us to stop and ask ‘why?’ instead of just barreling forward with ‘how?’

The answers Apple suggests to the question of why computer technology should be in public school classrooms can be discouraging. Maintaining class and race stratification seems a clear side effect, when one considers the differences in resources and teacher training from wealthier suburban schools to their poorer, urban counterparts. Certainly, we cannot ignore the capitalist motivations of computer manufacturers: donated computers often reap rewards through charging for maintenance or by creating a market for future sales.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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