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Clinton tech education slammed in report

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Billions of tax dollars spent by the Clinton Administration on school computers and wiring brats to the Net are wasted at best, according to a scathing report released by the Alliance for Childhood Tuesday.

The Alliance believes there is too little evidence that computers are an effective educational tool, and further that heavy reliance on them is actually harmful to tender sprouts, obstructing their social development, threatening their health with sedentary activities, depriving them of constructive play time, and cutting them off from a plethora of invaluable experiences in confronting the natural world hands-on.

"Children need time for active, physical play; hands-on lessons of all kinds, especially in the arts; and direct experience of the natural world. Research shows these are not frills but essential for healthy child development. Yet many schools have cut already minimal offerings in these areas to shift time and money to expensive, unproven technology," the report states.

The report does recognise that for disabled children, the computer can offer extraordinary convenience as a portable classroom. "For a relatively small number of children with certain disabilities, technology offers benefits."

But for healthy children, it spells nothing but trouble. "For the majority [of children], computers pose health hazards and potentially serious developmental problems," the report warns.

These common-sense observations notwithstanding, at the urging of the Clintonites, for whom the Internet has become the panacea of all ills social and guarantor of incomprehensible future prosperity, US schools have spent more than $27 billion on a frenzied campaign to wire America's kids.

The report recommends that the money be spent instead on sensible investments such as reducing class sizes, repairing school facilities, and providing healthy activities like art, music, sport and field-trips, which engage the child physically and mentally, and stimulate the senses and the imagination in context of the real world. ®

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