I’ve been wondering about a topic that Tom Hoffman addresses indirectly. I raise this issue in the spirit of comity. He lists surprise events or lack thereof in use of personal computers in education.
I’d add to his list the seeming disinterest of school boards in at least openly discussing, and then planning to replace more classroom teachers and instructional supervisors with computers in order to increase one-to-one individualized student learning with electronic media.
Instead, school boards seem focused on system building over individual student learning. I know, the use of the preposition “over” allows an opening for disagreements. It appears that boards accept the old ed pattern of adding something new, in this case computers, onto what already exists, rather than replacing existing instructional resources and procedures with more efficient technology. Adding technologies by using grant funding from external sources appears easier than rebudgeting existing funding.
On the surface, it appears that one teacher’s salary for one year would buy enough personal computers with digital ink for all students in that class for several years use. Going further yet with discussions of ed policy influencers in the 1960s and 1970s, school boards could replace weaker teachers with computers, thus allowing other cost savings, increased ROI and cost-benefits, etc. by, for example, redefining or eliminating “classrooms,” “classes,” etc.
I’ve watched for reports of such discssions. Have I missed them and related plans? Or does educational political culture consider such discussions beyond the pail (or maybe pale?)? Do other educators wonder about being replaced by a computer?