Teaching 2.0: Is Tech in the Classroom Worth the Cost?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The hallways at Westlake High School in Maryland are just like thousands of other school hallways around the country: kids milling around, laughing and chatting on their way to class.

On a recent morning, about 30 kids took their seats in a classroom that initially seems like any other. The major difference here is that instead of a chalkboard and a lectern at the head of the class, there are two enormous flat-panel screens and thin, white microphones hanging in four rows across the ceiling.

Greeting the students via Skype this morning is a dapper, bearded man in a brown vest. But it's not their history teacher, it's Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About History, who was invited to talk to the students about America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This type of teaching is a novel approach, but it can be an expensive one. That has some asking whether the billions being spent on educational technology is worth the cost.

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