As for this week's readings, I found several ideas intriguing. First, I agree with what Barnett says about new technologies--like computers, television, and video--that were expected to change education simply by making it more exciting. I remember my son's teachers telling we parents this same idea. I must admit I was cynical with all the hoopla over the greatness of computers, and my reservations were confirmed. All I ever my son and his classmates doing was playing nifty games with the computer--having fun, or practicing his math. Never was my son shown how to use technology to create a product. The computer was for play or a tutorial. No wonder I felt computers were an expensive toy that served little purpose other than to create some fun in the classroom. I feel this is where schools have gone wrong.
Educators have not been trained as to what the computer can really do. As is usually the case in education, something is bought and little foresight is given to how to train the parties involved. When computers came into education, we teachers were encouraged to take our students to the computer lab, but what were we to do? All we heard was, "Use the computer lab. We have these computers, so use them." We had no training and one computer lab technician who spent most of her time showing us how to start the computer and undo the "screw ups" we created. On those days I was so stressed I prayed nothing catastrophic would occur while I was in the lab. Our work was limited to word processing some journal writes or writing a creative story and printing it.
One statement by Roth made me feel sad. He says that "computers are generally better than humans at disseminating the desired information" because computers "have easier, more immediate access to the desired and required information than most teachers." Granted the computer does have more immediate access to information, but I would hope that humans could disseminate information as good, if not better, than a piece of technology that never takes a breath or feels. Let us never forget that the human touch makes all the difference in the world. Computers/technology is a tool for people and teachers...not a substitute.