In a Self-Serve World, Start-Ups Find Value in Human Helpers (Farhad Manjoo)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Farhad Manjoo  writes for the New   York Times. This appeared on December 16, 2015

I have a question for viewers to consider and, if moved to do so, answer. How much, if anything, of this trend that Manjoo identifies applies to the increased access and use of technology in public schools?

It’s unfashionable to admit this in the age of Expedia, Priceline and other do-it-yourself online tools, but here it is: I miss travel agents.

The Internet took off as a way to book travel because the human intermediaries were always a bit suspect — their expertise questionable, their methods opaque and their allegiances unclear. And at first, the machines seemed to improve everything. For uncomplicated trips, booking online is now much easier than in the past. Because we’ve replaced agents with computers whose sole purpose is to ferret out the best deal, and for lots of…

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