Over the past decade, school districts across the country have invested billions in creating wired classrooms and schools, with significant financial and moral support from government at all levels. At the same time, the rush to infuse schools with the latest technology has provoked critiques from a number of observers, with titles such as The Flickering Mind and Oversold and Underused. These typically paint a portrait of computers gathering dust in the back of classrooms or used primarily as extraordinarily expensive typewriters.
The question is whether, if put to more productive use, educational technology will live up to the transformational dreams of its loudest promoters. In the following essays, Lowell Monke and Frederick M. Hess, both former teachers, explore the distance between today’s pedagogies and the classroom of tomorrow and ask how to bridge the gap.