Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Children and Technology

For an interesting critique of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Digital Learning Initiative see Mark Bauerlein's "Research Funds for Technophiles" in Inside Higher Education, May 21, 2008.

Here is the concluding paragraph to give you a taste:

"This is not to fault Jenkins, Davidson, and MacArthur for arguing the benefits of digital learning, or for disputing the claims of skeptics and dissenters. It is to fault them for not allowing a dispute to happen through open debate. In a word, they stigmatize the other side. In doing so, they turn the Digital Learning Initiative into an advocacy program, not a research project. The first rule of research is to consider evidence from all sources, to open the marketplace to anybody willing to observe norms of evidence and collegiality. Throwing labels such as “moral panic” and “Hall of Shame” breaks the rule, and when the speakers have $50 million behind them, it corners the market on legitimacy. MacArthur and other sponsors of digital learning would serve the research and policy worlds better if they allowed more reflection into their programming and tempered the enthusiasm of participants with the presence of dissenters."

The full article can be found at http://insidehighered.com/views/2008/05/20/bauerlein.

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