Computers Are Only Tools. It’s Good Teachers That Make the Difference

Computers are tools and like any tool in the educator’s tool-chest will do an excellent job in fixing an aspect of education.  But like any tool, it is not capable of fixing all of the problems of education.

Craig Barrett, the chairman of Intel stated that America is ignoring that it is good teaching that makes the difference.  “We’re bailing out Wall Street, we’ll be bailing out Detroit soon, we’re bailing out the agricultural sector with high subsidies at a time of record crop prices.”

The keys to economic success, Mr Barrett said, are high expectations, improved teacher competence and measured results.  He talked about Finland which achieved the highest score on the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA examination).  Finland is perhaps the most wired country in the world, measured by broadband access.  But the edge seems to lie in the fact that Finland has high expectations for students and respected teachers.  In the 2007 book, Innovation Nation:  How America is Losing its Innovative Edge, Why it Matters and What We Can Do to Get it Back”, John Kao writes:  “Finns have come to cherish gifted educators as Texans do ace quarterbacks.  The country’s teacher training schools have ten applicants for every opening.”

Mr. Barrett said, “PCs aren’t magic, good teachers are.”

Source:  The New York Times, 10/02/2008