Jobs and Gates agreed that computers in schools failed to make an impact

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
On page 553 in the new Steve Jobs biography by Isaacson it states:



"They agreed that computers had, so far, made surprisingly little impact on schools?far less than on other realms of society such as media and medicine and law"





The fact that both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates acknowledge in this book that the billions of dollars spent on putting computers in schools has done very little to improve education is refreshingly honest. Too bad they finally came to this conclusion after they made their billions off this mistake which left our schools in shambles as the result of allocating all this money in the wrong place.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Commodification View Post


    Too bad they finally came to this conclusion after they made their billions off this mistake which left our schools in shambles as the result of allocating all this money in the wrong place.



    Tha~t's completely not the case whatsoever. If you want the thread to stay out of PoliticalOutsider, you'll drop that line of thought.



    Though after careful five seconds of consideration, there's not much this thread will be able to do to stay out of there, after all.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Tha~t's completely not the case whatsoever. If you want the thread to stay out of PoliticalOutsider, you'll drop that line of thought.



    Though after careful five seconds of consideration, there's not much this thread will be able to do to stay out of there, after all.



    Read the book.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Commodification View Post


    Read the book.



    Does it specifically say that the misuse of computer technology is the ONLY possible reason our schools are in shambles?



    Because that's completely wrong, anyway.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I'm obviously not against the use of computers in education, since I probably like them a little too much (Macs in particular). The problem is that the school system spent billions and billions of dollars on computers, edu-tainment software, and countless hours and other resources on the 'promise' that the increased use of computers in schools were going to make a significant improvement education. After 30 years of their implementation the two most well known leaders (Gates and Jobs) who advocated the use of computers in schools honestly admit that it didn't work very well.



    The problem is that the billions and billions of dollars that went to buy computers and software should have been spent on directly hiring more teachers and raising their pay in order to attract the sharpest and most talented minds into the education process. What ended up happening is that schools bought into the 'sales pitch' for the urgent need for computers and the schools ended spending way too much money on the wrong tools/technology. It's odd to think that in countries (like India and China) where students have significantly less access to computers in schools they actually create more engineers and mathematicians than the countries who have easy access to computers in the classroom.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Well it's hard to assess how effective the computers were on education without decent metrics.



    Did every computer using child become a genius? Probably not but if they left High School with and understanding of basic computer usage then it was a success.



    I'm not sure i'm buying into the negativity. There was a tangible benefit though it may have shown up in areas that were not expected.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    It's just that if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates openly admit to each other that Personal Computers in schools hasn't worked out that great (especially considering the financial cost), and it's pretty safe to assume that those two guys are pretty well informed on the topic then I think it's obvious to state that computers in schools mostly failed.



    This doesn't mean that e-readers and tablet computers that are finely tuned and targeted at specific educational disciplines will suffer the same fate, but one has to be mindful of the failures of the past so we don't repeat them.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Commodification View Post


    It's just that if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates openly admit to each other that Personal Computers in schools hasn't worked out that great (especially considering the financial cost), and it's pretty safe to assume that those two guys are pretty well informed on the topic then I think it's obvious to state that computers in schools mostly failed.



    This doesn't mean that e-readers and tablet computers that are finely tuned and targeted at specific educational disciplines will suffer the same fate, but one has to be mindful of the failures of the past so we don't repeat them.



    Yet neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates are Educators so assuming they are correct could be construed as an "appeal to authority" logical fallacy. Being computer vendors doesn't validate nor invalidate their supposition.



    We need concrete metrics and evaluations to determine impact or lack thereof.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/te...pagewanted=all



    Quote:

    This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade"



    “The data is pretty weak. It’s very difficult when we’re pressed to come up with convincing data,” said Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director for education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an investor in educational technology companies. When it comes to showing results, he said, “We better put up or shut up.”



    "absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later."



    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/ed...pagewanted=all



    Quote:

    “After seven years, there was literally no evidence it had any impact on student achievement — none,” said Mark Lawson, the school board president here in Liverpool, one of the first districts in New York State to experiment with putting technology directly into students’ hands. “The teachers were telling us when there’s a one-to-one relationship between the student and the laptop, the box gets in the way. It’s a distraction to the educational process.”



    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.02/jobs_pr.html



    Steve Jobs own words in 1996:

    Quote:

    I used to think that technology could help education. I've probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I've had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What's wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent ... Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology. It's not as simple as you think when you're in your 20s - that technology's going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won't.



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