"Fink and Brown’s solutions are neither magical nor simplistic. They are surprising to many, I suspect. . . . In an environment where it is all too easy to close our office doors and hunker down for the day, Fink and Brown suggest something radical: talking with one another, working together, putting our considerable rhetorical skills to work collectively to not only save ourselves from our lesser selves, but to improve the writing environment for our students. I was reminded: oh, yeah—that’s why I teach writing."
—Teaching English in the Two-Year College
Education is in crisis—at least, so we hear. And at the center of this crisis is technology. New technologies like computer-based classroom instruction, online K–12 schools, MOOCs (massive open online courses), and automated essay scoring may be our last great hope—or the greatest threat we have ever faced.
In The Problem with Education Technology, Ben Fink and Robin Brown look behind the hype to explain the problems—and potential—of these technologies. Focusing on the case of automated essay scoring, they explain the technology, how it works, and what it does and doesn’t do. They explain its origins, its evolution (both in the classroom and in our culture), and the controversy that surrounds it. Most significantly, they expose the real problem—the complicity of teachers and curriculum-builders in creating an education system so mechanical that machines can in fact often replace humans—and how teachers, students, and other citizens can work together to solve it.
Offering a new perspective on the change that educators can hope, organize, and lobby for, The Problem with Education Technology challenges teachers and activists on “our side,” even as it provides new evidence to counter the profit-making, labor-saving logics that drive the current push for technology in the classroom.