“the Computer Delusion” by Todd Oppenheimer

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“The Computer Delusion” by Todd Oppenheimer

Todd Oppenheimer, the author of “The Computer Delusion”, is a renowned investigative reporter. In this essay, he “argues that the tremendous emphasis on computers and technology in elementary and secondary schools, and especially in the lower grades, can actually decrease the effectiveness of learning and teaching” (255). Oppenheimer says that government programs are focusing more on bulking up the technological areas of public education rather than saving the basic fundamentals of a good education. He gives examples of real life situations where school districts have cut important programs such as art and physical education to make way for more computers. Oppenheimer also introduces situations in which big businesses donate their services to assist school districts in their technological advances, only to disappear as soon as the real costs in maintenance and training enter the playing field. He argues that computers, rather than improve learning, introduce another distraction to the learning process. Finally, Oppenheimer proposes that a possible solution to this educational dilemma may be to “ban federal spending on what is fast becoming an overheated campaign” (282). Oppenheimer’s overall objective is to illustrate that too much emphasis has been put on learning via a computer and not enough on the traditional hands on methods therefore hindering the effectiveness of education.

To begin his persuasion, Oppenheimer introduces a very important point regarding the priority of computers over traditional education. He gives numerous examples of extreme situations in which school districts cut music and art programs to make way for computers: “The Kittridge Street Elementary School, in Los Angeles, killed its music program last year to hire a technology coordinator” (257). His use of numerous detailed examples and statistics makes it seem as though he does not expect his audience to have a very extensive background...
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