Public high schools in Maine are buying laptops for students.
What does this tell us? That the school administrators are behind the curve. Tablets are where the action is. The administrators are two generations behind: netbooks (obsolete) and tablets.
The media focus of filters. The kids can get pornography. This means boys can get it. Girls get addicted to the written word: erotica. Boys are gawkers.
The schools are implementing filters. That will slow down access for maybe a week.
The only filter that works is ethical. The cost of access is now about zero. The barriers are gone. The gatekeepers can do nothing about it.
So, I focus not on the threat of pornography. I focus on the threat to public education.
By buying laptops for students, the school system is saying this.
Students cannot get a suitable education inside the fences of our schools. They need materials from outside the fences. These materials are close to unlimited. They keep multiplying. They are mostly free. Everything a student needs to get a first-rate education he can get on a laptop computer. So, the chief functions of public education are these: (1) providing tax-funded babysitting; (2) hiring mediocre teachers, which is all any district can afford (Pareto’s 20-80 law); (3) letting teachers recommend Websites to students; (4) Letting smart students teach themselves; (5) letting the best students teach each other by way of the Websites they find.
Any school district that fails to imitate Maine will be seen by educators as technologically backward. On the other hand, any school district that imitates Maine will expose itself to the parents as irrelevant academically. The schools then become centers for training athletes, low-cost brothels for teenagers, and drug emporiums. I wrote about public schools as drug emporiums back in 2001.