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Being Skeptical of Technology

Over the years, readers and students have asked me about the work I have done on school reform and especially reform-laden technologies. I answer some of them in this post. But first some background. I began doing research and writing on teacher and student uses of technology in the early 1980s when the first personal computers appeared in classrooms. That writing turned into Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology since...

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The Riot at the Capitol: Classroom Lessons?*

In an earlier post, I pointed out the obvious fact that tax-supported public schools were political institutions. Not in the partisan sense of Republican and Democrat but in serving the community in socializing community values in the next generation including respect for and pride in the nation. When taxpayers want their schools to instill core values in students (e.g., respect for individual, being part of a community, equal...

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Will Pandemic Changes in Schooling Be Temporary or Permanent?

“As Customers Move on Line, Shopping Is Forever Changed,” a New York Times article announced. For the holiday season, Macy’s department stores in a few states have closed their doors to in-person shopping and become fulfillment centers for online shoppers. Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief executive, said the dark stores are part of an experiment as the company responds to customers buying more online and demanding ever-faster...

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Teachers as Improvisers

Every job has its share of surprises. A key piece of equipment breaks down. A traffic accident forces a change in delivery routes. A client calls to say you’ve won the contract–but they need the order filled three months earlier than planned. No matter where you work, you need to be able to improvise to meet your objectives, or at least cut your losses. “The Presidency was no different,” former tenant in the White House Barack...