Will Tablets In The Classroom Help Kids Learn?

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Technology is changing the American classroom, but is it improving the way students learn? It's a question worth asking as more and more schools embrace digital learning.

School districts from Massachusetts to Los Angeles are investing in digital learning and so-called "one to one" technology programs: one laptop or tablet for every one student. Burlington, Natick, Sudbury, Revere and many other districts across Massachusetts are adopting these or similar programs.

Carlo Rotella says we need to think hard about the consequences of so much screen time, and about investing so much faith and money in this kind of learning.

Last year, Guilford, North Carolina, distributed a tablet to every middle school student and teacher in the district — more than 15,000 in all. Rotella wrote about it for The New York Times Magazine in a recent piece headlined "No Child Left Untableted."


Carlo Rotella, director of American studies at Boston College and columnist for The Boston Globe. He also writes for The New York Times Magazine.


The New York Times Magazine: No Child Left Untableted

  • "I teach college students, not middle schoolers, but I count on being able to read their faces and look them in the eye, and I would resist — O.K., freak out — if obliged to engage them through a screen in the classroom. And as a parent of middle schoolers, I would strenuously oppose any plan by their school to add so much screen time to my children’s days."

This segment aired on November 13, 2014.


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