Rethinking Technology in Education

Robert Slavin's Blog

Antonine de Saint Exupéry, in his 1931 classic Night Flight, had a wonderful line about early airmail service in Patagonia, South America:

“When you are crossing the Andes and your engine falls out, well, there’s nothing to do but throw in your hand.”

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I had reason to think about this quote recently, as I was attending a conference in Santiago, Chile, the presumed destination of the doomed pilot. The conference focused on evidence-based reform in education.

Three of the papers described large scale, randomized evaluations of technology applications in Latin America, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Two of them documented disappointing outcomes of large-scale, traditional uses of technology. One described a totally different application.

One of the studies, reported by Santiago Cueto (Cristia et al., 2017), randomly assigned 318 high-poverty, mostly rural primary schools in Peru to receive sturdy, low-cost, practical computers, or to serve as a…

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2 Comments

Filed under Education

2 responses to “Rethinking Technology in Education

  1. Good for a one-off study but impossible to implement on a steady basis. Great Hawthorne effect though!

  2. Technology is not a goal in itself in education, but it can facilitate a oood plan that is meaningful for the students. That what I understand and agree with.

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