I just finished watching the HBO series the Treme. I loved it. I lived in New Orleans as a little girl (attended public school kindergarten and first grade there), and I am a musician.
A line in the script stood out to me (and while I know it is fiction, I also know it was loosely based on things that really did happen in New Orleans after Katrina). FEMA money, describes the sheriff, was used to acquire technology but, he goes on, “nothing has really changed.” He speaks of the neglect and wrongful deaths in the jails in Orleans Parish.
Could we say the same thing about RttT money? Can we sort out how it helped practice and how it didn’t and furthermore, what is to come if we consider National plans for technology to engulf education in the name of “personalized learning.”
As a music major I used plenty of computer based music theory programs (around 1999—not so much in my undergrad). But consider music study if you have no person handing down the tradition or human aspect and touch. It wouldn’t happen. You can’t learn to be a musician just by doing music theory programs on a computer. Music requires breath and movement of the body and sweat and friction and an understanding of how those things affect the outcome. Music is like cooking. . .the outcome is experienced by the senses. Isn’t anything worth doing also experienced by the senses? How are we factoring that into these great plans? Is technology going to stamp out sensory learning? And if so, will school truly have children missing out on their education?