re: Classroom Technology Faces Skeptics At Research Universities
I grew up with computers in my classrooms (yes... in the 60's and 70's - large cables through the walls)... So I have seen technology work well... and I have seen technology try to replace "teaching".
My Father was a Research Psychologist and my Mother a Director of Research (looking at how well learning was achieved). Computers used to augment learning and enhance training is extremely important in my eyes, but real teaching is becoming more and more rare (at least in the US). To teach you have to understand the level of the people you are training. Helping them understand and spew facts, can be accomplished by a computer. I spent over 20 years of my life writing AI programs and have relegated myself to understand that computers, even with the highest sophistication can eventually prove no match to a good teacher.
While I have worked with Chemistry Departments that augmented their Chemistry program (the wrote memorization and basic learning) to computer based training, I was still needed in many cases to help students understand "more easily" what the computer was asking. The component missing is CBT (Computer Based Training) is that it is only as good as the person who programmed it. Cultural, language, socio-economic differences make it difficult to meet all the end user's needs.
Sometimes there just needs to be that extra bit to get a person who has even better understanding than the Paper Trained "Master's" or "PHD" level person trying to teach/train them or who is sitting in the same class next to them. The more intelligent/book trained a person is, the harder it is to "teach" them. They only want the information, not necessarily how to use it, they believe they know how to use the information.
Hence the need for different methods of teaching. Rememeber, Children learn easier and faster than adults as they have no "preconceived notions" and do not have to unlearn things in order to move ahead.
Computers are just a tool to move the ball ahead at a standard and basic pace, not to replace real learning or teaching.