Something Less Than A Cadillac

Something Less Than A CadillacTim Stahmer has a great post today about a computer based literacy program that Los Angeles Unified invested over $50 million dollars in and found that their results are less than stellar... Tim asks some very good questions...

Is it really a good thing to have five and six-year olds sitting in front of computers drilling their reading skills? Is this kind of drill and practice software the best use of $50 million? Couldn’t that money have been spent on programs that put the students in contact with people instead of machines?

I have to agree with him. I'm a firm believer that access to technology is something that needs to be appropriate and developmentally sound. Having five year olds sit in front of a computer screen for over 30 minutes a day seems just crazy to me. There is a difference between using technology as a tool for research and self expression, and using technology to bypass the interaction between student and teacher. I wonder how many additional teachers $50 million could of bought that could of lowered class size?