Idea to retire: Technology alone can improve student learning

Ellen Lettvin, Joseph South and Katrina Stevens/Mar 18, 2016

Nearly every aspect of the world is being transformed by digital tools.  Over Thanksgiving weekend in 2015, more people shopped online than braved the aisles of brick and mortar stores fighting for highly discounted items. Globally, there are 2.6 billion active smartphone subscriptions. And self-driving cars have already clocked over 1 million miles on public roads.  There is no doubt that technology is impacting how we educate our children and ourselves as well.  Over 21 million post-secondary students are enrolled in online courses. Computers are in virtually every school in the country and more of those computers are connected to the Internet than ever before.  In fact, the number of students with broadband at school increased by 20 million over just the last two years. Because technology is widely perceived to improve our day-to-day experiences, it is logical to conclude that technology will improve learning outcomes in our nation’s schools by itself.  This is an idea that must die.

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