By Frederick Hess
You can hardly open a newspaper, visit an education website, or visit a school without being bombarded by excited claims about educational technology and a raft of intimidating jargon. Newspapers and school district announcements are full of terms like “MOOCs” massive open online courses, “blended school models,” “virtual classrooms,” “adaptive assessments” and much more.
The promise is that digital learning will improve and enrich learning, while empowering educators to design more engaging, professional and dynamic schools and classrooms. But technology by itself can’t and won’t make this happen.
After all, though educational technology always seems ripe with promise, the results over the course of the past century have left educators exasperated and wary. Fanciful initiatives have repeatedly soaked up time, energy and money, only to leave parents unimpressed, teachers frustrated and students no better off.