While David Gelernter is a highly respected computer scientist, his 1994 publication of The Myth of Computers in the Classroom shows little vision of the incredible opportunities for computer based in class learning to come. In 1994, there was an internet as well as educational software involving learning through games like Carmen Santiago and the city building game, Sim City, offering young learners the opportunity for interactive and creative problem solving and critical thinking. But at that time, the internet was a shallow sea of educational opportunity that has morphed into a medley of collaborative, visual and exploration opportunities, not easily achieved without classroom computer support.
Dr. Gelernter expresses himself as a luddite, describing computer based classroom learning as a desirable supplement rather than replacement for book learning. He cites computer based videos and writing aids as deterrents rather than assets in the learning process. In general, he fails to see value returned for the expense of classroom computing.
Today there is a wealth of books available on the internet for free. YouTube provides learning opportunities for everything from building a log cabin to constructing a garment decorated with fiber optics. Like YouTube, Wikipedia is a free source of information written by volunteers, edited by volunteers and constantly growing. And perhaps that’s the most import part, an open, organic world of computer based resources that we all create and learn from.
Classroom computers support the development of more collaborative experiences that aid in improved critical thinking, problems solving and visualization. It’s fortunate that these resources are available at such a low cost while returning an exceptional educational value. Samsung is helping schools to become collaborative learning environments with BYOD based on laptops, smartphones and tablets. Collaborative content can be created on one screen enabling free interchange of ideas. Software for elementary school through college aids students and educators to collaborate in a highly supportive environment (Samsung).
David Gelernter minimized the value of visualization. Computer software animations help students of all levels to understand mathematical and physical processes. Traditional mathematics education has failed to help many learners. Sometimes saying words just doesn’t do the teaching job. Inspiration Software is company specializing in teaching through visual thinking and learning (Inspiration). Creativity is enhanced through the wealth of technologies supporting classroom learning today.
Samsung. Developing More Collaborative Learning Spaces. Web. <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160203005796/en/Samsung-Announces-Education-Solutions-STEM-Learning-Collaboration>.
Inspiration. What is visual thinking and visual learning? Web. <http://www.inspiration.com/visual-learning>.