Here’s a new phrase for you: “The Googlification of the classroom.” Tech reporter Natasha Singer covered it for The New York Times in 2017.

She wrote that Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the country has been at the forefront of introducing the tech giant’s low-cost and free tools into the classroom.

Google bypassed administrators and school boards, reaching out directly to educators, she wrote, and it raises the question of whether our public schools should “turn out knowledgeable citizens or skilled workers.”

But according to a study in 2016, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the usage of tech in classrooms. And those gaps in knowledge could be dangerous. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development published a study in 2015 which said “students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after controlling for social background and student demographics.”

What are the effects of having classrooms branded by technology companies? And how much are these digital resources helping students?

Produced by Danielle Knight. Text by Gabrielle Healy.

This show is a part of “Enrolled,” our series on education. Find all the shows from the series here

Guests

  • Natasha Singer Technology reporter, The New York Times; @natashanyt
  • Hal Friedlander CEO and co-founder, Technology for Education Consortium; former Chief Information Officer, New York Department of Education; @halfriedlander
  • Jessie Woolley-Wilson Chair, CEO and President, DreamBox Learning, an education software company; @jessieww
  • Darren Ellwein Principal, Harrisburg South Middle School in Harrisburg, South Dakota; National Association of Secondary School Principals 2017 Digital Principal of the Year; @dellwein
  • Cynthia Boyd Parent of three children who have gone to school in Baltimore County; medical doctor at Johns Hopkins University

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