Why too many schools live in an analog world—and what we can do about it

Matthew Zalaznick's picture
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This summer, President Barack Obama asked a simple question: “In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why wouldn’t we have it in our schools?”

If a coffeehouse has slow Wi-Fi, the consequences generally aren’t substantial—you might not be able to Skype with your friend in England while sipping your latte, for example—but the lack of technology in our schools has significant implications. Schools need robust digital tools to give students the knowledge and skills to succeed—just imagine a high school graduate arriving at college not knowing how to use Excel. But more than that, technology is increasingly key to making schools more effective. Tests, for instance, can now be given online to provide a much more accurate measurement of student achievement. Teachers can also use software to enrich learning and make grading homework much easier.

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