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This important book is a welcome addition to the growing (and long overdue) debate about how much of a good thing it is to mix computers and children.
Healy is a professional educator of wide experience, and a recovering techno-fundamentalist. She is scrupulously fair about the evidence presented in various studies on the ways computers help or hinder learning, and quick to offer positive anecdotes where there are positive ones to be had. (She freely notes, for example, what a miracle computers have been for some handicapped children.) But her conclusions about the routine use of computer technology in the classroom are overwhelmingly--and persuasively--negative.
A major theme of Failure to Connect is the federal government's culpable idiocy (not her term, but she implies as much) in jumping uncritically, to the tune of $4 billion a year, on the "computer in every classroom" bandwagon. As she shows, there is scant evidence that computers teach basic skills any better than traditional methods, or that children who don't have computers are somehow "left behind." Conversely, there is abundant evidence that an uncritical infatuation with computers as an educational panacea is replacing skill building and learning with formless play while forcing art and music lessons, and in some cases math textbooks, off many school budgets.
Healy writes lucidly, neatly balancing her discussion of the issues with practical, undogmatic advice for parents and educators. A sober and sobering read about a crucial issue. --Richard Farr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Parents and educators will want to ponder this cautionary report on the spread of child-friendly digital technologies. Although Healy (Endangered Minds), an educator and consultant, does present positive examples of how computers can enhance young students' education (citing, for example, the Internet's value as a research tool and the use of software to assist children with learning disabilities), she remains concerned about the overuse of computers at home and in school. Healy argues that parents who have been led by the computer industry to think that they should purchase PCs for their young children are unaware of possible health hazards and allow far too many hours of unsupervised game playing, which she considers no more beneficial than TV. The lack of trained teachers to work with children who have access to computers in school is, according to the author, a major problem, as is the high cost of computers, which can drain funding from other needs. Healy believes that computers cannot substitute for the learning that takes place through socialization with peers and interaction with teachers and parents who instill values, support decision-making and encourage creativity. Healy's contention that computers often fill young minds with information at the expense of teaching them how to think and feel is unlikely to dissuade many school administrators from rushing the latest computer technologies into classrooms. Either way, this carefully researched study offers ample evidence that the next generation will be plugged in and tuned out. Editor, Bob Bender; agent, Angela Miller.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I bought this for a College Class I was taking. Cheaper than the University Bookstore, but would I recommend to a friend or read in my spare time...I think not!!!Published on August 15, 2013 by LAA
I needed this book for a college course on instructional technologies. The book came in excellent condition and came faster than I thought. Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by Penny
I was twelve years late in hearing about Dr. Healy's FAILURE TO CONNECT, but ordered it immediately and read it, constantly thinking how an update would read now. Read morePublished on September 10, 2010 by Madlon T. Laster
The book came to me in good condition. That is the best thing I can say about it.Published on April 17, 2010 by E. Geller
Failure to Connect is a book that discusses the implications of technology as it relates to the academic and social development of children. Read morePublished on March 31, 2009 by S. Townsend
Great book. Very counter-culteral. Computers are attractive because they mean children need less one-on-one, and because companies can make money off of them. Read morePublished on January 30, 2004
All right, all right. I get the point. "Computers are bad. They keep our children from learning. Yet adults keep buying them. Therefore adults are stupid. Read morePublished on February 17, 2003 by Richard Graham
It is hard to tell how Ms. Healy's book contributes to the field of educational knowledge regarding kids and computers' use. Read morePublished on January 6, 2003