Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers and Childhood.
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Read "Children and Computers: A Call for Action"
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Tuesday, September 12, 2000
Press Conference on Computers and Children
9:30am, National Press Club, Washington, DC
For more information, contact:
Mimi Noorani (301) 513-1777
Liz Brinton (202) 331-4323
Experts Call for Time-out from Push for High-Tech
Leading Doctors, Child Development Experts, and
Educators Warn that Computers Pose Health
Hazards, Divert Us from Children's Real Needs
WASHINGTON--As young children start school this
month, they will find an increasingly "wired" approach to
learning. But the wholesale computerization of American
education is raising troubling questions.
Dozens of experts in child development, education,
health, and technology will issue on Tuesday a
statement calling for a reexamination of the assumption
that computers help young children learn, and for a
time-out from current policies emphasizing computers as
an ideal educational tool for toddlers, preschoolers and
Among the signers of the statement, sponsored by the
Alliance for Childhood, are Alvin Poussaint, M.D., Clinical
Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School;
Deborah Meier, Macarthur award-winning Founder of the
Central Park East Schools in East Harlem; Diane Ravitch,
former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education; and
Professor Larry Cuban of Stanford University, former
President of the American Educational Research
Association. They join many others educators,
researchers, and doctors in calling for a broad national
conversation on the issue of children and computers.
At the same time, the Alliance for Childhood will release
a report titled "Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers
in Childhood." It examines the real costs of computers in
education -- billions of dollars at the expense of key
educational programs and the pressing needs of
low-income children, as well as serious risks to children's
physical, emotional and intellectual development.
Joan Almon, former kindergarten teacher and U.S.
Coordinator of the Alliance for Childhood
Bailus Walker, Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H. Chair, Alliance to End
Childhood Lead Poisoning, Professor of Medicine, Howard
University, and former President, American Public Health
Lowell Monke, Ph.D., former award-winning teacher of
advanced technology classes for the Des Moines Public
Schools, now at Wittenberg University.
Edward Miller, Ed.M., educational policy analyst, former
Editor, Harvard Education Letter, and co-author of Fool's
David Shenk, author of "Data Smog: Surviving the
Release of Children and Computers: A Call for Action;
and The Alliance for Childhood's new report, Fool's Gold:
A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood
Tuesday, September 12, 2000, 9:30am - 10:30am EST.
National Press Club, Murrow Room
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045
Reporters can participate via telephone conference. A
broadcast-quality phone line is available for reporters to
dial-in and participate in the Q&A session. Call
The Alliance for Childhood is a partnership of individuals
and organizations committed to fostering and respecting
each child's inherent right to a healthy and
developmentally appropriate childhood. The report,
position statement and press release will be available at
this website on September 12, 2000 at 9:30am EST.
Download the Report
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