The NY Times ran a story this week questioning the value of technology in the classroom. They cite in particular a showcase district in Arizona that has been pouring money into tech without creating any observable benefit in test scores.
To me that story highlights a key point: The “software”, that is the teaching practices and processes that rely on tech are critical to effective utilization. As one teacher puts it in their signature file,
“It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”
The conclusion to draw from that isn’t that tech doesn’t matter, it’s that you need to do more then just buy stuff. You need to think about how to use it, and adapt as you gather experience.
Flashback: The Social Life of Information makes the same point about business processes.