I really like this link.
The truth of the matter is that yes, the computer has, and will, change just about everything that we are, and will be, doing in the next few years. Indeed, it already has. I believe that most, if not all Lakewood classrooms, are already very much into using the computer as a learning tool.
All of this can tie directly into the NCLB/ school standards discussion, as well. Since NCLB (Federal No Child Left Behind Law) was enacted, states have been writing and re-writing their curriculum standards for each subject and each grade to the point where a district's textbooks purchased last year could be totally irrelevant and/or out of date next fall.
Computers and the information available on the web, on the other hand, are being perpetually updated, and individualized study continues to be an outstanding and non-threatening way for students to advance. Granted, they will always need the direction, assistance, and guidance of a good teacher, but can you imagine what this kind of individualized learning is doing to those annual curriculum paradigms? Indeed, I can easily see where some traditional education planners could feel quite threatened by this individualized learning.
That's just plain silly too. There's never an end to learning new things.
The traditional thought that everyone show know how to do fractions by a certain grade may not change, (although why that sort of artificially imposed time-line would be so all-fired important is beyond me) but the truth be told, thanks to the computer, individualized learning is coming on strong.
As a Special Education teacher (retired) I've NEVER been an advocate of always using one-size-fits-all learning techniques. At one time, I purchased 4 early pre-internet computers for my classroom out of my own pocket so that students could use them as tutorial learning tools. Not everyone can be on page 27 by Tuesday. Some could be on page 97, and some, on page 12. These days, all too often, teachers are being forced to teach for content coverage, rather than for individual mastery, and the results of standardized testing show time and again that you just can't drive kids, like cattle, up the same chute all the time.
Giving a child the tools for personal success and achievement, and that "self-of-steam"
that you brought up on another thread will generally take care of itself, I do believe. On the other hand, sitting in the back of a classroom, feeling left out and frustrated however, is a recipe for disaster. Engage the student in an activity where they can experience success, and most of the battle for knowledge is already won.
At the same time, large class sizes and many other factors have traditionally made individualized instruction impractical...up to now. The computer is helping greatly, although with the somber realization that it remains just one more tool for a gifted teacher to use to guide and direct the learning process.