High Tech Heretic

High Tech HereticHigh Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian, by Clifford Stoll. Published by Doubleday, 1999.214 p.

In his collection of essays, Clifford Stoll offers a skeptical view of the promoted benefits of high-tech gadgetry. Like his earlier work, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway, Stoll takes a critical but somewhat whimsical view of the proliferation of computers and the exaggerated promises that accompany them.

In this work, Stoll addresses the exponential growth of technology in our schools. While techno-zealots and computer providers beat the drums of big spending on technology for all kinds of purported benefits, Stoll offers a rare and divergent perspective, suggesting that just maybe technology initiatives won’t live up to their inflated reputations. His observations suggest that many computer projects end up over budget, over due, and under performing.

Whether or not you agree with the viewpoints expressed in this book, all educators who are responsible for recommending, introducing or using technology should educate themselves on both sides of the technology issue. This book provides an uncommon view, contrary to the popularly held belief that computers are the brass ring in education.

– Joe Agner