Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who once tried to sell you on the idea that Common Core was the only answer to educating America’s children, is once again telling you through Microsoft representatives, that pens and pencils in the classroom should be obsolete. The new message is that only when technology is used in the classroom will your child receive the appropriate education they deserve.
Will schools “swallow the Microsoft medicine?” I’m betting that Microsoft hopes they will and that parents and schools will also ignore the fact that Microsoft will greatly benefit financially.
Lia De Cicco-Remu, Microsoft’s Canada director of Partners in Learning, recently told teachers to “Shift or get off the pot,” when it comes to using technologies within the classroom.
As a side note, perhaps Cicco-Remu could use a stern warning from a teacher about her use of a phrase that is connected to an “inappropriate for the classroom” phrase. But perhaps she is only using the language encouraged in Common Core Standards.
Cicco-Remu continued, “Seriously, it’s not fair to the kids.” “It’s tough at the outset to understand and learn all these tools, but you’re doing a disservice to our students and these kids’ futures if you don’t. And that’s your job.”
Who better to tell teachers what their jobs are than those that created Common Core to take teaching out of the hands of teachers?
Cicco-Remu also equated schools to “jail—brick walls, colorless, not very engaging or exciting.” She believes that educators are teaching children as they did centuries ago.
Cicco-Remu’s statements to teachers just so happens to come as Microsoft prepares to hold a summit where teachers will be taught in workshops to use Microsoft products. Indoctrinating the teachers in order to recruit new salespeople to push Microsoft’s message would seem to fit the Microsoft agenda.
As with Common Core, Microsoft would surely benefit financially if all schools using the Common Core curriculum believed that Microsoft’s conclusion about technology in the classroom was the key to a child’s success.
You may recall that prior to implementing Common Core Standards into our schools, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spent more than $200 million to push their agenda. You have to spend money in order to make money, as the saying goes.
In addition, on the Microsoft website, Microsoft spent a considerable amount of effort telling schools using the computer-based, Common Core-aligned tests that they would need to spend even more money on Microsoft’s products. The name of the article dated April 22, 2014 was “Tech Essentials for Testing Success.”
Once again, as with most statements coming from the Microsoft giant, teachers and parents are being told that Microsoft knows best when it comes to teaching your child. Even better than you. Nothing new here. It’s a ploy that causes many schools to open their wallets.
Microsoft is trying to convince you that as a parent, if you don’t give your children the latest in technology or don’t force your schools to do the same then apparently, Cicco-Remu believes you should feel some measure of “shame” because as she said, you’re doing a disservice to “our” students.
The key word that really says it all in Cicco-Remu’s statement is that children are “our” students. She is advocating the same progressive agenda that we hear over and over from those on the left.
Most progressives believe that “kids belong to whole communities” or the collective. So, it’s not surprising to see that the Common Core giant is also promoting technology as the only way to properly teach children. In their eyes, children don’t belong to parents, they belong to everyone.
Are there benefits to having technology within the classroom? I believe so. Children do frequently use technology and so the familiarity with it would undoubtedly help a child in expressing themselves in a way that they have grown accustomed, as Cicco-Remu pointed out.
However, I also believe that there are benefits to continuing to use pencils and pens for eye-hand coordination and for the type of processing that occurs in the brain that cannot be replicated by typing.
If Microsoft is really concerned about children and not the almighty dollar then perhaps they could make a no-strings-attached donation to schools and allow the schools to decide what works best for their students. A collaboration between parents and teachers is the best way to strengthen a child’s ability to learn.
There is nothing wrong in a company “pitching” their products in order to benefit themselves financially.
However, there is something wrong when a progressive agenda of “guilt or condemning” is used to convince schools and parents that they know more about what is best for your child than you do, so that they can make a profit.
Schools and parents should use good judgment in whether or not to use technology within the classroom and they don’t need Microsoft to “bully” them into it.