Instructional Technology

  • In Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America by Alan Collins and Richard Halverson (2009) Dave Thornburg's and David Dwyer's set of quotes detailing resistance to new technology through the history of American Education are provided (p. 30-31):

    • From a principal's publication in 1815:  "Students today depend on paper too much.  They don't know how to write on a slate without getting chalk dust all over themselves. They can't clean a slate properly. What will they do when they run out of paper?"
    • From the journal of the National Association of Teachers, 1907:  "Students today depend too much upon ink.  They don't know how to use a pen knife to sharpen a pencil. Pen and ink will never replace the pencil."
    • From Rural American Teacher, 1928:  "Students today depend upon store bought ink. they don't know how to make their own. When they run out of ink they will be unable to write words or ciphers until their next trip to the settlement. This is a sad commentary on modern education." 
    • From PTA Gazette, 1941: "Students today depend on these expensive fountain pens. They can no longer write with a straight pen and nib. We parents must not allow them to wallow in such luxury to the detriment of learning how to cope in the real business world which is not so extravagant." 
    • From Federal Teachers, 1950:  "Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students use these devices and then throw them away. The American values of thrift and frugality are being discarded. Businesses and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries." 
    • From a fourth-grade teacher in Apple Classroom of Tomorrow chronicles, 1987:  "If students turn in papers they did on the computer, I require them to write them over in long hand because I don't believe they do the computer work on their own."
    • From a science fair judge in Apple Classroom of Tomorrow chronicles, 1988:  "Computers give students an unfair advantage. Therefore, students who used computers to analyze data or create displays will be eliminated from the science fair."
    What will historians say about our responses to technology in the classroom when they look back to the start of the 21st century? 

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