Natasha Singer’s series of New York Times articles in the past six months showed persuasively that top Silicon Valley companies have increased student and teacher access to digital devices and software across the nation. But Singer also claims that expanded access has led to these high-tech tools dominating classroom lessons. Google, et. al. tools shape what teachers do daily. She says:
Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.
Yes, I have observed in Silicon Valley and elsewhere how these high-tech Goliaths have helped increase student access to digital tools across the nation. But I have not observed their influence on “the subjects that schools teach” and, most important, on “fundamental approaches to learning.” To that I say “no.”
Conflating access with use is a common error that journalists, researchers, and promoters of digital tools…
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