Maine: “State still needs to prove that computers help students learn better”

Article on MSNBC today about Maine laptop program. A basic description of the program from the article:

“Every year, about 43,500 students and teachers get their own iBooks, which cost about $600 each. Students can take their iBooks home after school and keep them during vacations.”

The article delves somewhat into what many of us have stated for years about measuring success via standardized testing:

“Many teachers who were surveyed also said that students using laptops are becoming better at combining information from multiple sources and expressing their thoughts. Students in the program report that they understand the material better.

But whether its program can measure up to the federal government’s key yardstick — improvement in standardized test scores — is another question.

“What you can do on laptops isn’t measured on current standardized tests,” said Mark Warschauer, an education professor at the University of California in Irvine and author of “Laptops and Literacy: Learning in the Wireless Classroom.”

I’m in a rush this morning so I don’t have time to comment further, but check the article out for yourself.

Learning is messy!

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4 thoughts on “Maine: “State still needs to prove that computers help students learn better”

  1. Othersideofthedesk, there’s a big difference in price between a $600 laptop and a 10 cent pencil! Why not use TEXTBOOKS in place of pencils! Do textbooks really help kids learn better? Does what a kid learns from a textbook translate into higher standardized test scores? Do higher test scores relate to everything a child has learned? Can ONE test measure everything that’s been learned?

  2. This comment little to do with the above blog. I just can’t id an email addres for you so I’m going this route.

    My name is Aurelio M. Montemayor. I’m very new to social media so I’m not sure what are the best ways to let people know about this. I got your name from a colleague who is a seasoned TWITTERer and identified you as someone interested in education.

    I have started a website entitled: Excellent Public Schools for ALL Children connected to LinkedIn.
    It Is a network of advocates for children to have the best possible neighborhood public schools – especially for families that are poor, of color, English learners and/or recent immigrants.The Welcome to the site says:
    Bienvenidos and welcome. If you are here, it is because you have a magnificent vision about what our children deserve and are capable of. You believe and act upon the belief that all children merit the best possible schools.
    We are advocates for our public schools as the sites where democracy has a chance to be nurtured and developed. If we cull and separate the beautiful mix of students coming to our schools, we fertilize the seeds of elitism, classism and racism. Challenged as many of our public schools are, and tempting as other choices might be for some, we must create and support the public will to put the resources into our public school system to have world class classes and schools. We must have schools of excellence in every neighborhood, inner city and rural town rather than dangle a few choice exceptions to the many puzzled and beleaguered poor families.

    Are you interested in being invited to participate? Send me a note. If you are in LinkedIn we can connect through there.

  3. Dear Mr. Crosby,

    I’m not sure if you have heard about me but I’m the other famous teacher named Brian Crosby who has taught high school English for 20 years in Glendale, California, and has authored a couple of books on public schools, the most recent Smart Kids, Bad Schools: 38 Ways to Save America’s Future (St. Martin’s Press, July 2008). I would appreciate any help from you in getting the word out about my book to fellow educators. If you like, I can send you a copy of the book. Thanks for your help,

    Brian Crosby