Failure to Connect Book Review

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28 February 2011 History 102-06 Healy, Jane. Failure to Connect, Simon & Schuster, 1999. Failure to Connect is a book that discusses the implications of technology as it relates to the academic and social development of children. This book raises some very important questions for both parents and educators when considering technological tools for children's use. This book poses tough questions that should be addressed to ensure that children are protected and correctly guided while using a computer. Dr. Healy expresses concern that too little time has been spent studying the effects of educational technology, which consequently, can cause greater harm than good. Dr. Healy addresses the misconception that computers and educational software is the "key to successful student achievement". After countless hours in classrooms observing and talking to teachers and students, Dr. Healy suggests that perhaps many parents and educators "want to believe that technology is the `magic bullet' that will take care of problems in our education system that previously failed to be addressed" (p. 18). Consequently, she believes too much emphasis is placed on technology, taking away from the development of basic reading, math and problem solving skills. The underlying question that surfaces throughout this book is "do computers and technology truly improve student learning and achievement?" According to the author, there is little evidence to support the use of technology as a necessity or benefit to student success (pp. 105-106). The author goes on to suggest that students, especially younger students, should be carefully monitored and limited in their computer use (p. 110). In her research, Dr. Healy found that students who spent large quantities of time on the computer: (1) did little work of educational value, (2) interacted minimally with others, and (3)
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