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Then you must not have much experience with the Cobb school system. 
Full disclosure, my wife has been teaching in Cobb for 15 years.  I KNOW 
what they use the computers for and you are well off the mark.  Grant 
it, a lot depends on the teachers, but then they get no training what so 

I'm not saying the system is perfect, but I get real tired of folks 
bashing the whole system because you have a hand full of lousy teachers 
and a boat load of apathetic parents.

> Years later my second oldest nearly failed reading because she found  it 
> too tedious to go in her spare time to the library and take the  easy 
> tests even though she read the books.  I suppose more PC's in  the 
> school would have given her less of an excuse but so would a  teacher to 
> deliver the few questions.

So you're telling me that the teacher used accelerated reader for 
grading purposes.  I don't know what county that was, but it is not used 
in this way in Cobb.  It is a tool to provide initiative to read and to 
enhance reading.  Recognition is placed on those who obtain the most points.

<a  rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cobbk12.org/~tritt/acreader.htm";>http://www.cobbk12.org/~tritt/acreader.htm</a>
<a  rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cobbk12.org/~frey/ARC.htm";>http://www.cobbk12.org/~frey/ARC.htm</a>

&gt; I have been closely involved with computers and schools and I don't  see 
&gt; the need.  Knowledge gained from a library book usually lasts  longer 
&gt; than google answers.  I have been to plenty of dog an pony  shows for 
&gt; education software and I have also come in a year or two  later to 
&gt; replace the dusty unused equipment with yet another  &quot;latest  answer&quot; 
&gt; for lagging test scores.

Right, if they're not used, how are they going to help?  I'm not a big 
fan of educational software, most of it is lousy.  But there are good 
ones out there that can make a difference.  Further, the teacher must 
not simply rely on the tool.  The tool doesn't teach, the teacher does.

&gt;&gt; Further, you make an assumption that every teen in the metro area has
&gt;&gt; access to a computer outside of school, and that is also false.
&gt; No I didn't.   I just believe with all the electronic toys even the  
&gt; poorest kids in Atlanta have, that adding Windows skills to what they  
&gt; already know is trivial.

You are not talking about the average child.  You need to revisit your 
demographic data.

&gt;&gt; Don't get me wrong, I don't think the computers in the schools are
&gt;&gt; properly utilized, but they do a lot more with them then you've  stated.
&gt;&gt; I do realize there are all kinds of problems with computers in  schools.
&gt;&gt;   Teachers get little or no training, there is little or no support,
&gt;&gt; poorly designed network infrastructure...
&gt;&gt; Computers can be used as a good educational tool just as books, chalk
&gt;&gt; boards, white boards, overhead projectors..... are.  In a lot of cases
&gt;&gt; they are.
&gt; I think this is conventional wisdom.  Computers are expensive, I use  
&gt; one to be more productive therefore my child who needs to learn to  read 
&gt; better and master algebra needs one.  Besides if our kids aren't  
&gt; getting the grades we want we gotta do something.

Please do not try to patronize me.  I know more about this subject then 
you could possibly understand.  I do not think that slapping a computer 
in front of a child is going to make them read better, anymore then 
slapping a book in front of the same child will make them learn math.

The key is, it is a tool.  In properly trained hands, it can make a 
difference.  If you would like, I will schedule a day where you can sit 
in on my wife's class and see how a computer will enhance learning.

&gt; I think a computer  
&gt; makes a good carrot in a classroom but not a good tool.  That is a  
&gt; general tool such as a pencil or a black board or a book.  It makes a  
&gt; good specialized tool.  If you want to learn HTML it helps.  If you  
&gt; want to add some web resources to a lesson it helps but as a tool to  
&gt; teach math skills it falls way short of a teacher.  I have supervised  a 
&gt; complete 4th grade curriculum delivered on a PC. It is just a book  that 
&gt; can grade itself.  The some students did well with it most did  not.  
&gt; Most kids need more teacher time.

I do not think that a child can sit in front of a computer for a whole 
year and come out ready for the next grade.  A computer is just another 
of the many tools available and when used properly, they will enhance 
the learning experience.  Can you teach someone algerbra without a book? 
  Sure, but the proper tools make the learning easier and the teaching 
more effective.

&gt; I mentioned the carrot above. The most effective use of computers I  
&gt; have seen was a teacher that let her class play educational games on  
&gt; them if they did there work fast enough.  It had to be correct.   Mostly 
&gt; the boys in the class were working to get PC time though.  the  girls 
&gt; needed other incentive.

There are better uses for this tool in the classroom.

Until later, Geoffrey

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