Schools left in dark about best technology - 05/10/00
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detnews.com home page Wednesday, May 10, 2000

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Schools left in dark about best technology


By Richard Whitmire / Gannett News Service

    WASHINGTON -- School superintendents will spend billions this year bringing technology into classrooms, and it appears they don't have a clue about what they are doing.
   "We take it on faith it will make a difference," said Kent McGuire, the top education research officer at the Department of Education.
   How could the superintendents know how to spend that technology money? There are no high-quality experiments attempting to answer basic questions such as:
   * Should schools wire all classrooms, or just labs?
   * Which of the hardware/software combinations being peddled to schools actually increase learning?
   * Does writing on a computer help or harm writing skills?
   These are tough questions not just for poor inner-city schools: The nation's most prestigious private schools haven't a clue, either.


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