Bill Gates Admits On Education Tech, ‘We Really Haven’t Changed Outcomes’

This article is a couple years old, but…

I found this perspective particularly enlightening (with my emphasis added):

Headmaster John Vallance pronounced the billions of dollars spent on classroom technology a “scandalous waste of money” that “distracts” from quality teaching. “We see teaching as fundamentally a social activity,” Dr. Vallance said. “It’s about interaction between people, about discussion, about conversation. We find that having laptops or iPads in the classroom inhibits conversation – it’s distracting.”

Dr. Vallance identified a related problem with technological “personalized learning” – when conversation is removed from education, the students find themselves confronted with a uniform point of view. “The digital delivery of teaching materials across Australia has had a powerful normative effect,” he observed. “It’s making it quite difficult for children to learn how to disagree, how not to toe the party line, because they can’t question things – the possibility of questioning things has been taken away from them.”

I’m a lover of technology. But I’m certain I don’t want my kid to have such personalized learning (e.g., at his own pace, less interaction/conversation with kids in the class and with the teacher) — that he doesn’t learn how to communicate well. That he can’t ask questions and hear different answers. That he’s not exchanging ideas with others. I want him to learn how to question things. I want him to learn HOW to learn. Not just how to skip through skills and assessments at his own speed, with little interaction with others. Part of learning is just that — interacting with others. If I wanted to take that experience from him, I could home school him. I could expose him to fewer ideas and perspectives. I could have every aspect of his learning be personalized and isolated and limited to only what I want him to learn. Or only what he chooses to learn. I fear PBL starts down this path. We personalize the education to “fit” the kid — instead of exposing the kid to as much as possible — which teaches the kid how to adjust and learn in different situations. Skills that can’t be learned if we go down the path of personalizing everything.
Please help get the word out to others: