This article in the Seattle Times shows that UW and Bellevue Community College are finally offering recordings of professoral lectures on line. Unfortunately they seem to have restricted access only to students. I would think publicly funded universities would/should offer to all of us the possibility to listen to instructive presentations. In my opinion our local universities should even start online radio stations to broadcast them. That UW does not even have one radio station devoted to airing such lectures is amazing.
It is not only on Bainbridge that tech levies for schools are contested. On January 20, the Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat writes about the controversy taking place in Bellevue and he refers to the German study I mentioned earlier last year (see the previous "computers and education" posts). I was sad to read his 5 year old daughter is "painting" using a computer: I do hope she still paints with her fingers and real colors and does not exclusively rely on the computer... The Bellevue levy also aims to bring the famous computerized white boards into each classroom: more screens...
Computers and Childhood: Millions of dollars are being spent to bring computers and the Internet to America's elementary school classrooms, yet there is little, if any, significant research showing academic gain from computer usage. Furthermore, the funds and time needed for purchasing
and maintaining computers drains resources from proven school essentials such as smaller classroom sizes, arts and music programs, and physical education. Is more time staring at a screen what today's children need?
A new study by two German professors, published by Britain's Royal Economic Society,
finds little evidence that computers at home or in schools improve
student performance. The study covers hundreds of thousands of students
in 31 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. (Download the study as a PDF file.)
from the University of Munich is one of the authors. He says previous
studies have shown that computer use is associated with better student
performance on standardized tests. But those studies often don't
account for important factors that skew the results. (Jeff Horwich guest-hosts.)
**Update:** No sooner did this episode air than I spotted this article from the Washington Post, about a movement to use computers less -- or at least more appropriately -- in public schools in Maryland. -- JH