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Members of Parents Across America (PAA) have spent extensive time looking into quantities of writing and research that raise red flags about the impact of the EdTech explosion on our children. This high-pressure movement has brought a mishmash of digital devices and online and other pre-packaged programs into our schools, where they are promoted as “personalized,” “competency-based,” “student-centered,” or “self-directed” learning, terms which we refer to together as EdTech.
What we have found out about the EdTech push alarms us, and should alarm any parent. First of all, there is actually very little research addressing the many news ways that EdTech is being used in our schools — our children are truly being used as guinea pigs. What we do know about children and screen time is based in part on new studies and in part on previous research into children’s use of television, video games and computers, which can help us anticipate some of EdTech’s health effects. And EdTech’s teaching and learning track record is not positive. Yet corporate reformers and the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are investing heavily in EdTech and putting enormous pressure on districts and schools to increase its use.
PAA recognizes that technology has many benefits, and that our children must master technology. But until our concerns about the misuse and overuse of EdTech in schools are addressed, we must and will speak out against policies and practices that may be harming our children. Below are links to the reports we have prepared on many of the proven and potential problematic effects of EdTech. Our 35-page paper listing the research and other background information we used to compile these reports is here. Many, many thanks to our EdTech Committee, PAA leaders Laura Bowman, Danielle Arnold-Schwartz, Heather Hicks, and Julie Woestehoff, for their countless hours of research, reading, and reporting out which made this work possible, and for always keeping the well-being of children and the quality of their education at the forefront of their efforts.
EdTech Summary Brief – summary points that reflect what we have discovered about the proven and potential problematic effects of EdTech.
EdTech Overview – The latest push from corporate “school reform” undermines parental control, student privacy, and the quality of teaching and learning
EdTech: mental and emotional effects – How EdTech may be harming our children’s mental and emotional health
Buzz words images (EdTech: Let’s call it what it really is)
EdTech: Who Benefits? – Not our children!
Ed Tech: Questions to ask — What to ask at your child’s school: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/questionstoask.pdf