Finally, finally some backlash. Let’s hope it catches on and grows! The parents and students are right.

What they are getting is NOT personalized learning. It is not enriched teacher-student relationship learning. It is not excellence in teaching building excellence in students–one student at a time in a personalized way. Learning should be personal, of course, but it should be part of a rich curriculum with excellent teaching. It’s not what computers can spoon feed to children. How do we know this? Because the tech whizzes that bring us this do so for other people’s children–not their own.

It’s too bad that both teacher-based learning and computer-based learning are called “personalized learning.” They are not the same. The tech companies have latched on to this rich trove. We need a new name for what these computers are doing….maybe “technology-assisted information” or “techonology assisted skill building” or “technology-assisted child management” or ???

Teachers can provide personalized learning. Machines do not. And just like Silicon Valley’s elites, I don’t want my kids or grandkids to become pawns for tech companies.

Then what is the computer in every lap surge? It’s a powerful sales pitch for computers by Silicon Valley–spoonfed to school administrators at fancy conferences and dinners.

A computer in front of every child builds customer loyalty at an early age. It also creates glazed eyes and apparently headaches for some and other health challlenges for other children. And the sad hypocritical underbelly of course, is that the children of Silicon Valley’s elite aren’t allowed to have laptops in their classrooms. Their private schools bar such technology. Take that and think on it!

Laptops are for other people’s children–

Call it what it is. It sure is not personalized learning–something every child deserves to have.

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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