Digital Learning Is A $60 Billion Scam
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. July 18, 2018
The new Gold Rush will rake in $60 billion this year. The ed-tech gold rush has attracted deep pockets like Rupert Murdoch who invested more than $1 billion into Amplify to develop educational video-games.
Rather than creating products that teachers need and want to use, Silicon Valley tech giants decide what they want to sell and then send out snake oil salesmen to convince bureaucrats that the sky will fall if they don't buy useless products which provide “personalized learning.” This is code for replacing teachers with tech gadgets so the Silicon Valley rich can be richer. Never mind that students do best when they have face-to-face interaction with a real, live teacher.
The truth is out. Technology in the classroom not only leads to worse academic performance for kids, it can also clinically hurt them. Two hundred peer-reviewed studies have connected screen time to increased ADHD, increased aggression, anxiety, screen addiction, depression, and even psychosis.
And the experts agree.
Dr. Nicholas Karadars, one of the nation's foremost experts on addiction, finds that video games and screen technologies affect the brain's frontal cortex exactly the way as does cocaine.
Maryanne Wolf, one of the world's foremost experts on the study of reading, notes that students have become so accustomed to skimming materials online, with interactive distractions, that their reading comprehension has declined. With poor reading comprehension, students have trouble reading the classics.
Patricia Greenfield, distinguished professor of psychology at UCLA, analyzed more than 50 studies on learning and found that reading for pleasure has declined among young people in recent decades. This is a problem because reading develops imagination, induction, reflection and critical thinking, as well as vocabulary.
The 2015 report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that heavy users of classroom technology performed worse on math and reading tests.
John Vallance, headmaster of Australia's most prestigious private school, says that when the history of this period of education is written, the investment in classroom technology is going to be seen as a huge fraud.
Ed-tech fraud is a dangerous scam with devastating consequences for children's lives and a staggering waste of taxpayers money.
Aren't scammers supposed to go to jail?