"These "data-driven" investors are not so much interested in students' scores, as in the opportunities to cut costs by using online technology... The central question, says education entrepreneur John Katzman is "How do we use technology so that we require fewer qualified teachers?"" — Jeff Faux
A "RIFed" (laid off) Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teacher posted a link to an LA Times piece on my facebook page this morning with the following note: "I'm laid off, but let's buy more equipment."
LAUSD's tablet plan doesn't compute was surprisingly critical of the Broadyte Superintendent given they usually treat him with the reverence that sycophant monarchists afforded that Dauphine of France whose flippant attitudes towards the lower classes were much like Deasy's. In fact it might be the first ever Times editorial mildly critical of Deasy and his corporate reforms.
I posted the following comments:
Tablets like iPads are wonderful, but they're a long way from being a reasonable replacement for school libraries and students having access to books.
According to research cited by Dr. Stephen Krashen "ebooks only account for one-half of one percent of school library collections, and this is predicted to increase to only 7.8% in five years."
In other words, the content isn't there, so bringing in technology is an abject waste of funds. Deasy has been on the wrong side of this from the get go. It makes me wonder if he has stock holdings in firms that provide tablets.
For a background on this topic and links to the research see: John Deasy's Queen Antoinette moment: "let them eat ebooks". This isn't about being anti-technology, it's about budget priorities and understanding the limits of both technology and the availability (or dearth thereof) of academic content in digital format. A hipster corporate reformer recently called me a Luddite, I guess he doesn't know what I do at my day job. Let it suffice that I know a little bit about that whole technology thing.
The point is that purchasing technology for technology's sake isn't just wasteful, it's criminal, especially during the budget crisis our district is suffering. LAUSD needs to restore school libraries, classroom libraries, reduce class sizes, hire back librarians, teachers, and other educators first. Then we can talk about introducing more technology when appropriate and when the content is there.