Visits four elementary schools grappling with computerization to find out if technology is helping to change our schools for the better or dull students' creativity and drain educational resources.
Excerpt from a review featured in MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.
In Wired for What? The Dividends of Universal Access, all the hope and hype of universal digital access is on display, from the huckster atmosphere of an educational computing conference to technology magnet schools with impressive computer-to-student ratios. At the same time, a nice balance of evidence attempts to articulate whether technology in classrooms can be evaluated as an independent factor or even impedes, by inevitable fiscal competition, other basic early-childhood learning experiences or academic disciplines. For instance, an early childhood educator effectively argues for the inability of keyboard or other devices to substitute for physical-manipulation skills found in disappearing drama and dance curricula. Teachers, authors and educational administrators share their experiences and opinions regarding the use of computers and the Internet in lessons, including several personalized examples of trials and triumphs faced by teachers retooling for digital classrooms. Classroom, student and teacher portraits are personalized and minimally intrusive, which lends a sense of authentic struggle.
Because technology-literacy issues encompass diverse and even extreme opinions, the producers have elected to focus on a tight set of human portraits in each program, such as individual students, schools, families and employers, which even in their selectivity introduce the most thought-provoking or controversial issues. The expert opinions from well-known advocates and political personalities add a bit of salt and pepper to these personal and often poignant stories. Produced for broadcast, Digital Divide as a videotape series can certainly be used in classroom and in-house teacher training to reduce the anxiety and raise the interest in the integration of computer technology into the contemporary elementary and secondary curriculum.
—Charles Greenberg, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University