Alice Mercer’s review
of “Reign of Error
” addresses the question raised by some
EdTech reviewers about where I stand on the use of technology in
the classroom. She quotes from the book to demonstrate that I
strongly believe in the value of technology as a tool to transform
and enliven teaching.

Why read a few sentences in a dull textbook
about John F. Kennedy’s electrifying Inaugural Address when you can
watch it in the same amount of time, get a visceral sense of the
man, hear his voice, watch the crowd react, and get a vivid
real-time overview of the world he was describing?

Why read about an event when technology can take you to the scene?

Mercer also understands and explains the lure of technology to those who see
the schools as an emerging market, a chance to tap into scarce
public dollars. She knows that entrepreneurs hawking
“personalization” and “individualization” are often
thinking about adaptive testing and test prep, not creative ways to
engage young minds in exploring new ways of learning. And when a
financially strapped district spends $1 billion on tablets and
iPads instead of repairing crumbling buildings, we must ask about