Technology in the Classroom

In Mick Doherty's e-mail response to Joe Essid's English 376 class, he discusses the impossibility of teaching "cutting edge" technology in the classroom. As he points out, "Most 'computerized' schools have something like one antiquated Apple Macintosh Classic per 50 students. And most schools aren't computerized. The haves and have-nots are separated by an ever-widening chasm." (E-mail to Anne Bolton, 11/2/96). This point seems to be valid when supported by claims that in order to get a job, you need to have computer skills. In fact, on-line job services exist, so that you cannot even look at certain jobs unless you are on a computer. This certainly seems to indicate that a society is forming in which computer access is mandatory for survival. How big of a difference is there between a classroom with an ancient computer and one with no computer at all?

If we live in an age when the majority of children go through school with little or no computer education, then it would seem that computers are still not a very important part of our society. In fact, this is false. Computers are becoming a bigger and bigger part of jobs and higher education. So why aren't children taught to use computers when they are taught to read or do math?

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