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High -Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Bruce Harkins Jr. Review

Technology is such a a very differentiated subject for most people living in the world today Although there are gray areas, there are generally three different types of views. 1. Technology revolutionizes education. 2. Technology is a hindrance and we shouldn't use it ...
Technology is such a a very differentiated subject for most people living in the world today Although there are gray areas, there are generally three different types of views. 1. Technology revolutionizes education. 2. Technology is a hindrance and we shouldn't use it at all. 3. The belief that technology (when appropriately used in moderation) is helpful in various aspects of society. The author, Clifford Stoll, believes that technology is a great and powerful tool in our society and it should be used to its maximum potential.. Stoll recognized that technology is helpful but humanity must remain vigilante to the idea of decreased dependency of technology. After reading the book, one can become better equipped to think the way that Stoll does. I read the book with the idea that we are attached to technology and there is absolutely no way that we could survive with out it. After reading it I was became comfortable with the idea that we do not need to computers to survive.. He brings to light the different views that people have regarding technology. Stoll then dives into the discussion of why do we need these computers? Why isn't having pencil, paper, and a good teacher enough to teach a student. Stoll even goes on to tell us that even the worst teacher would not become a better teacher because she/he has technology in their classroom. One can sense the stress that Stoll places on the simple fact that humans depend on technology far too often Even if you already know that you agree with what he believes there are still so many issues that you don't think about that he brings to your attention. I know that as a future teacher these issues that were brought to my attention were very helpful. It makes you think a little more and decide for yourself what you really think. He was completely right when he said that computers don't go well with mud, water, paint, etc. that comes with being a kindergartener. He even points out that it doesn't take much to learn how to use a computer and children learn this easily. Computers cannot teach essential skills. These are all things we need to think about and he helps us to do that that. With the presentation of his strong and informed opinion, Stoll helps to bring to light some of the issues that society has encountered with technology. The book is very well composed and I found his words to be well supported and I agree on many point. The author was able to demonstrate that technology can be used for many beneficial reasons. However, he was also able to state the obvious and not so obvious problems that occur when an emphasis is placed on technology. If you are looking for book that will provide a lot of insight into the benefits and detriments of technology in society, I would strongly recommend this book.

posted by Bruski2006 on May 9, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Jasmine Jackson

Stroll made some very interesting points in his book, and I feel that it would be a great book for teachers in the school systems to read, because I do feel that there are some teachers that do rely on technology more now to teach their classrooms, instead of doing hand...
Stroll made some very interesting points in his book, and I feel that it would be a great book for teachers in the school systems to read, because I do feel that there are some teachers that do rely on technology more now to teach their classrooms, instead of doing hands on activities. I will be the type of the teacher that will include as little technology in the classroom, because I am not great with computers any how. Yes I do believe there is need of some technology in the classrooms, because there is so much new technology in the world that our students will have to learn how to work regardless if it is for work or school in the future. I feel that in Elementary classes there is not much need of using technology, and yes it does make learning fun in classrooms if they get to play a game, but if they are depending on games to help them learn early on then they are going to expect the same when they get older. Also the use of calculators in classrooms is starting early on in the classrooms. When I was in school, we started using calculators when we started using the high tech calculators, now I see young students using calculators to do mental math. I know I have not been out of school very long, but when I was in grade school we were not able to use calculators to do mental math. One thing that I didn't agree with Stroll is learning is not suppose to be fun. I feel that learning can be fun at times. I am a very outgoing person and I believe in fun in learning. I feel that there are other ways than technology that you can have fun to learn. I learn by doing, and if you are a good teacher you will be able to find ways to keep a child's attention without technology at all times. I do believe it is ok to have technology in your lesson plans ever now and then, however I don't think it is ok to depend on technology to teach your classroom. There are both pros and cons to using technology. Yes it is ok to use technology in the classroom, because technology is part of the world, but it should have its limit and teachers should not abuse it and use it as a crutch to teach their students. I also agree that instead of schools using all their money on computers and technology software, they could be using it towards something different than trying to put computers in every classroom.

posted by Jasmine67 on May 3, 2010

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    If you compare the methods of educating students today, to the m

    If you compare the methods of educating students today, to the methods of ten years ago, a sizeable difference can be found between the tools that are used to teach children. One of the common strategies used to teach children today is through technology. Technology advancements have opened a new door for educators to teach materials to students in new ways. Is teaching students by using technology actually the most efficient method? This is a concern for parents, educators and students. In “High-Tech Heretic” by Clifford Stoll, Stoll examines the advantages and disadvantages of computers and other technology in the classroom. Stoll is an authority in the field of technology which makes the points he brings forth even more valid. Stoll is also very enthusiastic with his opinions that are supported by facts and statistics. Prior to reading the book, you may jump to the conclusion that Stoll is totally against technology, but he plainly points out in his introduction that he is critical of computing, but not down on technology and that computers do not bother him, as he uses one himself. He even states that the book “isn’t an anti-technology manifesto”. He simply seeks to point out the downsides of technology that may be more important than the benefits and seems to cover all bases. He asks questions like “What’s lost when we adopt new technologies?” and seeks to answer these questions. I feel he addresses these issues well.
    One of Stoll’s opinions that stood out for me was that “A computer cannot replace a good teacher”. This may lead to the idea that a computer should replace a bad teacher, but Stoll quickly points out that no, “A good teacher should replace the bad teacher.” He states that “A good school needs no computers.” I love how enthusiastic Stoll is in his ideas and how he points out these outstanding examples and support for his ideas that make the reader think. He points out a time when a child created a firehouse using construction paper and crayons and he sought reinforcement from his teachers about the work. Instead, of encouragement, he was ignored as the teacher worked with students on a computer to create computer graphic printouts. This provides an example of the school world today. Stoll’s writing of his ideas is hard to go against as he creates an elegant and well-backed argument. Stoll also doesn’t simply point out his ideas, he provides other views that may go against his own and then provides his input on the topic to showcase both sides of an argument to the reader where all positions are covered on the given topic to bring a home run view. This allows you the reader, to form your own opinion about technology, especially computers, being used in the classroom.
    This book is a must read to gain new insights on the idea of computers and other technology being used in the classroom. It may just change your whole perspective; read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Wow!!!!!!!!This Book Is a Must READ!!!

    High-Tech Heretic was mind blowing from beginning to end. Just an amazing read all the way around. The pages were full of thoughtful insight that really can change the mind of the reader. This text will leave the reader in pure astonishment with facts, logic, and common sense that the author brings to light. It not possible after reading this book to look at computers in the classroom the same again; this book will not only entertain but educate as well. This book dances with the topic of computers in classrooms with humor and cold facts to give the reader a chance to decide their own opinion of the topic.
    High-Tech Heretic is a must read for any one concerned about the education of our youth. High-Tech Heretic opens Pandora's Box, once you have been educated in the truth of computers in the classroom you can never turn back. This book unravels the very fiber of technology and education in the classroom, and allows the reader to see how what happens when they become intertwined. This book hits hard on this touchy subject of computers in the classroom for parents, educators, and communities. Again, High-Tech Heretic is a must read and pass along to your friends kind of book.
    Finally, High-Tech Heretic really gets its readers to things more in-debt about the modern age of computers, and just how much we really need computers in our life. Furthermore, this book will leave you breathless and full of thoughtful details into what our classrooms are really made up of. Once you have read this piece you will have an opinion of your own to add to the conversations next time at your local school board meeting on the topic of more funding for technology in the classroom. Whatever you do don't let this book sit on the shelf, pick it up and read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    High Tech Heretic Speaks the Truth      In Clifford Stoll¿s High

    High Tech Heretic Speaks the Truth
         In Clifford Stoll’s High Tech Heretic, Dr. Stoll takes on the common
    misconceptions about computers, the internet, and productivity in schools,
    the workplace, and home.  Dr. Stoll writes that “I’m not afraid of computers.
      And I don’t think our society suffers from the fear of technology. If anything,
    our problems are rooted in a love affair of gizmos.”   As he takes the reader
     through the book, he outlines how as a society we have lost much of our
    “personal space,” “home,” and an invasion of privacy. 
          This book is a must-read for anyone who relies on technology and
    especially educators.  Stoll discusses how even though students are
    constantly online, they are not using the computer as a tool and losing
    basic communication skills.  The underlying message of Dr. Stoll’s book is
    that society should drive technology, but technology should not drive society.
    He discusses the gardener that comes home from work to do her website
    but not work in her garden, and the family that eats together, but does not
    communicate because everyone comes to dinner with a cell phone.
     Later in the book, he quotes “our kids are increasingly programmed as
     academic automatons.”  Dr.  Stoll cites studies from psychologists’
     focus groups, his own experience with college students, and information
     gleaned from his own life.  Dr. Stoll is a physicist, computer programmer,
    and a well-respected member of technological and science circles.  
    One of the most convincing arguments in his books is that “There is a
    difference between having access to information and having the savvy it
    takes to interpret it.”  Students know how to play with a computer but not
     necessarily how to use it.    
         Dr. Stoll discusses the difference in libraries now that have more
     computers than books; schools purchasing computers over classroom
     teachers, and how with the coming of technology and gizmos, families
    are more isolated in their own homes from each other. 
         This book is a great read and presents the pros and cons of technology
     within our society and the placement of said technology in our education
     system.  The book presents the arguments with humor and anyone who
     uses technology on a daily basis can relate to Dr. Stoll’s own experiences
     with technology.  The book is an eye-opener and a page turner.
     Even though it was written 15 years ago, don’t be surprised if you have a
     paradigm shift about the usage of technology in our societal and educational

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    Clifford Stoll is a man that is all about computers being a prog

    Clifford Stoll is a man that is all about computers being a programmer, however he doesn’t think that having computers in the schools.  He thinks that Good teachers should teach and that even bad teachers shouldn’t replace bad teachers, he thinks that bad teachers should be replaced by good teachers.  He divided his book into two sections the first selection is why he thinks computers shouldn’t belong in the classroom.  In this section he talks about this craze of people that think the computers will fix the education system, by having computers in the classroom will help a teacher and student more than harm a teacher and student.  He is very passionate about this book, although it is hard to tell what he is talking about because the book does move at a rate of speed.  He puts in some really out there but hit you in the face conversation and stats that he has found and show that computers are doing more harm in the school than helping it.  He shows that ugly side that no one wants to see because they paid so much for these computers to be in the school so in their minds the computer better do something.  In the second half of the book he talks about how people are struggling to understand computers the young, and old.  He does mention in the start of the book that the younger you are the easier it is to pick up.  Learning a computer is just like learning other things it takes time to master its skills and ways, but a computer is only as good as the user that uses it.  One of the chapters that made me do the most thinking was the planned obsolescence chapter in this chapter the more you read the more you think that this man maybe the smartest man alive, how he can see through the corporation crap and is trying to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This book is a thinking book that more people need to read, so that they can see that a computer is not everything especially when it comes to the education field.  

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  • Posted May 5, 2014

    Clifford Stoll brilliantly sums up everything you should feel ab

    Clifford Stoll brilliantly sums up everything you should feel about the rapidly changing role of technology in our society and educational system today. Stoll’s thoughts on technology can best be described as critical, but it takes criticism to make progress in a world full of pseudo-scientific information. His ideas are expressed in a way that will grab your current view about technology and warp it into a skeptical outlook you might have never discovered on your own. He captivates the reader’s attention by delivering his opinions in a respectful, well-spoken manner that makes you experience that “ah ha!” moment about the world around you.
    Stoll particularly focuses on the impact of integrating technology into classrooms. He fears that computers and other multimedia devices are rapidly evolving into new-found replacements for the roles of teachers and textbooks in the learning process. Technology and the internet have introduced many new concepts into the classroom that often simplify the learning process, but is simplification a good quality in our educational system? Do we want our students to always search for the easiest way to learn new information? Shouldn't we encourage them to challenge themselves by learning information multiple ways? Are our students actually learning information when it’s presented in the form of an educational video game, or are these games designed to create an illusion of learning? These are the types of questions Stoll explores with his thought-provoking, common sense-based approach for evaluating the impacts of technology. As a future educator myself, High-Tech Heretic really hit home. 
    Shaina Cercone
    Morehead State University

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    (Review by Leighanna Burchell) In High-Tech Heretic: Reflections

    (Review by Leighanna Burchell) In High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian, the author (Stoll) will pull you in and have you hooked from the very first page. This book would be an excellent read for a wide variety of audiences; parents, tech savvy persons, students, teachers, school administration, those pursuing a career in education, etc. Stoll’s straightforward writing style is sharp, practical, and completely entertaining. He has been a computer programmer for nearly 50 years yet frowns upon to fact that computers are mainly used as an entertaining tool these days, rather than an educational one. He does not believe that learning should be made fun and exciting for the learners because it is hard work when it is accurately being effective. The overuse of computers is creating a generation who lacks critical thinking skills. He debates many issues on computers being used in schools and what their role is currently serving in classrooms. There are so many teachers in today’s time that solely rely on and base their lesson plans around technology. However, Stoll will make you question whether or not this is truly the best way to manage your classroom. Before reading this book, I hadn’t second guessed incorporating technology into lesson’s but Stoll definitely made me open my eyes to if this is actually doing more harm than good. He will also have you questioning the impact that technology and computers have on students. Are computers producing adults who lack social interaction skills who do not know how to interact in the world away from computers? Are people soon going to forget what a library is or how to use a card catalog? For me, I think there nothing better than getting lost in a book. But, I feel that books of any kind are soon going to be a thing of the past. They are slowing getting replaced by technology. Stoll voiced many opinions throughout the book but none which he could not back up and support.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    High Tech Heretic EDEL 302 Kyle Edison

    High Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll is a great piece of literature about the views on technology, and whether they should or should not be used in today’s classroom. Stoll himself is involved with technology; therefore he is not just an old man who does not like technology because it is a new advancement in the world that he did not grow up with. He actually knows quite a bit about technology, yet he still does not believe that it has a place in the classroom. I however believe that technology does have a place in the classroom and will for the rest of time. I can agree that students do not necessarily need to have computers in the classrooms. However, this book was written 14 years ago, and since then computers have become even more popular with the iPad, nooks, phones, smart boards. These new inventions have found ways that makes it easier for the kids to learn with interaction through these devices and they can have fun doing so. I do agree with Stoll in saying that, computers should never and will never replace teachers. Teachers have a special bond with students that can never be broken. The one on one relationship that students have with teachers has been working in our country and all over the world for hundreds of years. Stoll does make a great case to keep the computers out of the classroom. He points out that any information that we would ever need, can be found in a library. Also he points out that while technology does make learning “more fun” in a sense that learning is not supposed to be fun. It is about the hard work that is put forward to learn a topic of interest. While I believe these things to be true, I still have to say that the technology of today will always, and should always have a place in the classroom. This new technology makes it easier for the teacher to find ways to make it easier for the students to understand concepts. It also can allow the teacher more time, in which can result in better teaching strategies. I am not a teacher yet, but when I am technology will have a part in my classroom. This is just how the world is turning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don¿t Belong in the Classroom a

    High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian
    By: Amanda Andrews
    The book, High Tech Heretic, by Clifford Stoll is one that will definitely cause a ruckus. Today, society is overrun by technology, and any lack of technology in the classroom, office, or even the home, signals being “behind the times” and outdated. Is technology really that big of a deal? Does it really deserve all the praise and admiration that it receives? These are viewpoints argued by Stoll in his controversial book about how “information isn’t power” and how “our problems are rooted in a love affair with gizmos.”
    However, Clifford Stoll is no stranger to computers; contrary to what one would assume from the title of this book, Stoll is a “pioneer of the Internet and a renowned gadfly of the computer industry”. That is what makes this book so powerful; from the mouth of a man who loves computers, you hear him argue why they aren’t needed in a classroom and how they are actually a hindrance to education.
    One of the arguments he attacks is that computers make education fun-education shouldn’t be fun, it should be work; it should be hard, but the reward is so much greater because of the effort you need to put into it. Just because a student is playing the coolest, most high-tech Math game out there, doesn’t mean that they comprehend the lesson behind it, or that they are able to apply it outside of the virtual world. As for the quality of art and graphics that the computer age allows: sure they are fantastic, but just like Stoll points out, it’s not the quality of the work itself that should concern as so much as the inspiration behind the art that inspired the child. What is so inspiring about copying and pasting an image from the internet; which in turn, is someone else’s idea and rendition of the subject? Nothing.
    It is arguments like these that inspire this book. Yes, it could be offensive- especially to those who are avid technology supporters- but it is also enlightening and provocative. This book made me(as a future teacher) really consider my views on technology in the education system and the way I plan to use it in my classroom. So much of today’s classroom relies on technology; is that really the way we want to drive the world- toward technology and away from inspiration?
    Stoll’s use of witty comments, heartfelt arguments, and his inspiring personality really engage the reader and provoke them to act, consider, and reimagine the technology-crazed world they are in. There is only one word to describe this book and the feeling you take from it: Powerful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Sallie Bullock EDEL 616 Do you feel like technology is taking

    Sallie Bullock EDEL 616 Do you feel like technology is taking over our lives and those of students? Well, you are not alone. Clifford Stoll uses a witty and fun writing style in his book High-Tech Heretic, with many quotes and research examples that will make even the most gung-ho “techie” question how much they use technology. He takes on the use of computers in almost all learning arenas, from those intended for infants, to elementary and high school, and even college cyberschools. He shows how “learning made fun” does not actually lead to real learning at all. Students may be able to answer questions on a computer to advance in a game, but if asked to actually apply what they should have learned, there is a good chance they won’t be able to. And what about the cost of all this technology? It may mean big bucks for the computer suppliers and Internet services, but the schools are out tons of money and then have to deal with the upkeep and updates on computers that will be obsolete in five years. To the skeptic that feels students have to know how to use the Internet to get a job in the future, Stoll says, “I’ll bet that most businesses would far prefer applicants with creative problem-solving abilities, human interaction skills, and a foreign language, not to mention punctuality, persistence, honesty, and a work ethic. All the things that you can’t learn from the Internet.” He discusses how people are becoming more and more isolated because of the Internet, the very thing that was sold to us as the tool that will connect us all. Technology has engulfed us from Smart houses to PowerPoint presentations at church to digital clocks in a stapler, and Stoll is trying to show us that enough is enough. He does not believe that all technology is bad, quite the opposite as a programmer himself. His, “skepticism grows from a love for computing, from a wish to make our technological world better suited for people, rather than people better suited for machines.” When I look around schools I can easily see what Stoll is referring to. Many students are unable to do simple math problems in their head or even on paper without a calculator. They cannot write without spell check and have no idea how to research a topic without the Internet, which does not always provide “good” information. They have a strong need to be entertained instead of taught. So many schools are buying in to the idea that technology needs to be embedded in everything students do at school, but in reality it is time consuming, expensive, and not at all a substitute for a good teacher. While reading this book I felt my own thoughts had been affirmed by what Stoll had so clearly and succinctly written. It is a must read for any parent, student or teacher that questions the use of technology in the classroom and in everyday life. I loved it!

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  • Posted May 8, 2013


    This was a very interesting book and a great read. Makes you really think about the ways technology has influenced our every day lives. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    Clifford Stoll is a skeptic who questions the use of technology

    Clifford Stoll is a skeptic who questions the use of technology in place of regular teaching techniques, criticizing the popular assumption that computers will greatly improve our schools, libraries, and whole society in his book, “High-Tech Heretic”. Stoll has spent the last two decades participating in, and commenting on, the Information Age. Unlike most high-tech insiders, Stoll isn’t certain that society’s problems will disappear if people spend more time using their computers, on the web, or chatting on social networks. Stoll complains of a major educational trend of the last few years: the rapid inclusion of computerization in the classroom. He’s a passionate believer in a rather traditional medium of data communication – the book. He proclaims that supporters of the computerized classroom have confused data with wisdom, wisdom being the ability to filter data and use it in a higher situation of instruction. This is exactly what the internet cannot do, says Stoll. In the computerized classroom, “solving a problem means clicking on the right icon,” allowing zero time to reflect on what is being taught. Thus, students focus on the insignificance of data, enhanced by multimedia graphics, while failing to consider the real-world contexts in which problems arise.
    Computers and calculators also create unhealthy dependencies that lead to student laziness and detachment from learning. In addition, overabundance of computer use erodes social skills. Wonderful as they may be, virtual communities can’t replace human interaction: The internet “gives us the illusion of making friends with faraway strangers while taking our attention away from our friends, family, and neighbors.” As schools and libraries unthinkingly race to become more high-tech enriched, our most public institutions become dehumanized, so that research librarians and teachers are increasingly known as “technology facilitators.” Despite the conventional wisdom, Stoll isn’t sure that there can be a lot of good from this high-tech movement. His book is a much-needed antidote to the current excitement about our “wired” future. If you can manage to get away from your computer screen long enough, find the time to read this informative, enriching book.

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  • Posted December 7, 2012

    High-Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll, I believe, is a must read f

    High-Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll, I believe, is a must read for everyone aspiring to be or people that have already become teachers. Incorporating technology into the classroom is something all teachers are going to have to face whether they want to or not and reading this book is a really good way to get you thinking about whether or not it is the right thing to do. 
    Clifford Stoll makes many valid points throughout the book that you cannot help but consider. In one chapter of the book he states that most people’s reasoning for incorporating technology in the classroom is that, “…computers are everywhere, so we have to bring them into the classroom.” Stoll could not disagree with this more, and I’m on his side. There are so many things that are “everywhere” in this world but are not incorporated into a curriculum. My favorite example of his is the television. Every home you go in nowadays has a television in almost every room of the house, possibly even more than one. However, when you go into the schools you see that the television plays a very small role in education. Another good example he used was the automobile. Cars play an extremely important role in today’s society. As Stoll points out, it is nearly impossible to get a job without having a car. The schools however, do not feel the need the teach children how to drive anymore. Most schools have pulled driver’s ed from their curriculum, realizing that they can learn how to drive on their own time outside of school. 
    While I agree with most of the things Stoll discusses in his book I know there are a lot of people that do not. This is why I believe that all educators should read this book because it will give them something to think about. It may possibly make them reconsider taking out a forty-five minute block from reading or math to teach children how to type on a keyboard or learn how to make a spreadsheet that they may never need to make again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Briana CookDr. SchackEDEL 302-003 Clifford Stoll¿s book, High-Te

    Briana CookDr. SchackEDEL 302-003
    Clifford Stoll’s book, High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian, is about the negative side 
    of bringing technology into the classroom.  I especially found it interesting that Stoll, who was a computer
    programmer, was not a supporter of computers being used as a tool by teachers for education.  
    There are many accounts Stoll brings into the light where the use of technology in the classroom subdued
    students learning rather than improved it.  Mainly, because when students use the Internet to get information,
    anyone could have edited that information, so it may not be factual or reliable.  I feel that the most Important
    point Stoll mentioned in the book was that teachers today are to worry about making learning fun and have
    forgotten to make sure that actual learning is taking place.  “What good are glitzy gadgets to a child who can’t
    pay attention in class, won’t read more than a paragraph, and is unable to write analytically?” (p. 12, Stoll).  
    An EXCELENT question Stoll brings up is why are the school systems putting in so much time, effort, and
    money to make students technologically literate when they aren’t or barely aren’t literate in other subjects.  I got a different perspective of learning from Clifford Stoll.  As someone who aspires to be a future educator,
    I will be more cautious using technology in my classroom.  Especially since, with the outbreak of social media,
    students are losing the ability to interact with one another.  Stoll said that every minute spent online on one of
    these social media sites is time that is lost for the fostering of true social interaction with real people.  One thing
    that I feel strongly about and that Stoll also feels strongly about is that for today’s students, it’s more important
    for them to learn to do thing for themselves rather than turning to, or expecting, technology to do it for them.  
    Now don’t get me wrong.  I think that technology can be a very productive tool in learning, but after reading
    this book I kind of wonder if all the money spent is worth it, or could it go towards something else, something
    maybe more important.  This book was very well written, easy to follow, and really interesting.  I really enjoyed
    Stoll’s use of humor.  It made it easier to connect to him and it showed how strongly he felt about this topic,
    plus it makes it easier to read.  The one thing I really liked was how quick of a read this was, but still made
    me think and I learned something.  This book is definitely a MUST READ for anyone who works with students
    in or outside the classroom.  Whether you’re interested in education, technology, or just want something good
    to read, this book is definitely for you!

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  • Posted May 4, 2012


    Josh Davis EDEL 302
    High Tech heretic is a book by Clifford Stoll that raises one of the most interesting questions of all time. Are computers really beneficial to the education of students? Throughout the book Stole deliberates if it is or isn’t. He uses man essays to explain why computers are hindering the educational process. He also discusses the increase in computer use since the early 90’s when the internet was first invented. In my opinion I do agree with Stoll that technology is greatly changing how students are taught in elementary schools all the way up to universities. It is both beneficial and also hindering at the same time and I think that Mr. Stoll clarifies why we should be worried about the increase in the use of technology in teaching. We as teachers should fear this shift in favor of computers because it could eventually put us all out of jobs and then computers will be teaching our kids permanently. Before I read this book I didn’t think computers in classes was a bad idea at all, but once completing this book I have discovered and now understand why the increased use in computers is not the best idea. Clifford Stoll’s book has brought a lot of glaring issues to my attention that I would otherwise be oblivious to had I not read this book. This is a genius piece of work and I recommend that all educators present and future read it. I think the message that Mr. Stoll is trying to convey is that we as educators are being phased out by machines that can teach the same thing we can teach. Computers are taking our jobs and taking over our schools. Parents should even be concerned and read this book. Their children could eventually be taught not by a person, but by a computer. This is where Clifford Stoll won me over. It is alarming to think that our children could not have the human interaction side of education that we all had instead they have a machine teaching them. I will get off my “soap box” about the issue, but I implore you to read Clifford Stoll’s High Tech Heretic and determine for yourself if we are heading for a day where people are no longer teachers, but machines are the teachers.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    This book offers an insightful look into the world of technology

    This book offers an insightful look into the world of technology in the classroom as well as our daily lives. It is a really good read for anyone who uses technology and plays a role in any part of a school system or even a business. The author offers many eye opening points in this book that actually makes the book hard to put down. The book is written around the idea that technology might be doing more harm to our society than good. Every time we are presented with a problem, our solution becomes “technology.” We have convinced ourselves that technology must be used in every aspect of our life. Mr. Stoll takes the opposite view that many people now have. He discusses how technology in the classroom is something that is unnecessary and possibly detrimental to the students. One of the examples he presents is using computers in a science classroom. Many computers have simulator programs so that students no longer have to do hands on science experiments. Instead they just move vials around on the computer screen. While it may be “cool” to do your science experiment on a computer screen, it is probably not as effective as actually doing the experiment. As a teacher, it is important to understand that a computer is a tool that can be used in a classroom. It should not be used to replace a teacher. Stoll also offers the point that maintaining computers is a huge drain on funds. You have to purchase computers, software and then hire people to maintain the computers. Then the computers are generally only operational or become outdated in five to ten years and your school is forced to restart this process all over again. Putting computers in schools creates more problems than solutions. We are just so blinded as a society and we have been tricked into thinking that computers offer us all the answers. This book does a wonderful job explaining this and the information has been laid out in an easy to read format. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who uses a computer or has anything to do with a school system.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    Eye opening book

    “Computers are wonderful motivators for students. In this age of television, they won't write or do their homework without one.” This quote was used in the book High Tech Heretic, by Clifford Stoll, as Stoll quotes one of his friends. This is how a lot of educators feel about technology being in the classroom. It is an amazing tool that should be implemented into the classroom to get students involved. Well, that might not be the case. This book is an eye opener for how technology might hinder student learning more than help it. One of the biggest arguments for using technology in the classroom is that computers are everywhere and in this day and age, it is necessary to try to incorporate them into the classroom because they are such a big part of our daily lives. However, it seems that computers might be taking the effort and comprehension out of the work. Another point mentioned in the book was that there are many things that are a bigger part of our lives than computers, such as automobiles, and they aren't implemented in schools. Using computers can take away skills such as spelling and grammar because the computer can check those mistakes for you. Also, computers make it hard to gage how much material the student is actually learning. It seems that it will be more likely for a student to learn the true meaning of an assignment if they have to do the work on their own. This book is an excellent choice for teachers, parents and even students. It can give them a different perspective of the way things might need to be in the classroom. Teachers could use this book to see how the hype about technology may not be something that they should totally let take over their classroom. I agree with a lot of statements Stoll makes throughout this book. Before reading it, I was sort of on the side of the fence where technology is what it is, and we need to use it. However, that really isn't the case anymore. Computers may have some benefits in SOME cases, but there are always exceptions. If there is a book online and in the library, the student might as well read the actual book. This won't hurt their eyes as bad, and they can carry it with them at a cheaper cost compared to one of the new devices for mobile books. Needless to say, I think High Tech Heretic is an excellent book and should definitely be read by anyone in the education field. This could have a big impact in the school environment and the amount of true learning that actually takes place within it.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    This book is an absolute must read for parents, anyone dealing

    This book is an absolute must read for parents, anyone dealing with children, adults in general, people who work with technology, and especially teachers! I thought that this book was going to be strictly facts and extremely boring, however it’s very easy to read and it’s quite entertaining at times. Mr. Stoll uses three main points when he is talking during his book.
    1. Technology is an inhibitor in the classroom.
    2. Society is now molding around technology, instead of creating technology to mold around society.
    3. Technology is causing people to be less social, less involved in the community, more depressed, and it is creating shyness in the world.
    I really enjoyed this book, especially the first half that described how technology does not belong in the classroom. I have thought this all along, that technology would distract students and inhibit their natural ability to think for them-selves, to be creative, and to inhibit their memory. Mr. Stoll creates a great point when he states that students have not memorized the basic multiplication table, that they have not mastered how to effectively spell words correctly or add/subtract math problems. And why should students when they have perfect technology to do it for them? When everything is able to be pushed in on buttons and they are provided with the correct answer! I agree with him that technology should not be in a classroom and that almost everything should be done the old fashioned way!
    The second main point of Mr. Stoll’s book, people molding around technology, is very important to me. He states that people use technology more and more everyday for their convenience to make things easier, instead of doing things the old fashioned way and working around their issues. He also brings up the fact that society is a guinea pig for testing software. When a company comes out with a new product, instead of having experts test the software, they send it out to the public. When issues arise, the company simply makes an update or a newer and better product that addresses the bug. The company will then charge the public to buy the “new, debugged” software and the same cycle continues. Technology should be made to fit around the people and to work properly for society, not for society to accept a few “bugs” here and there and consider the software perfect. It should also last longer than it currently does, and should not become obsolete within a few years.
    The third point of his book is quite true. I have seen many people who are very shy in public, will not speak unless spoken to, who do not go out much. Yet, on the internet or in video games they are kings/queens of the Earth and they never shut up. Mr. Stoll’s main point about this section is that society has almost completely withdrawn its self from each other. The community is no longer as intractable as it used to be. He describes in one section about how involvement in Boy Scouts, Masons, Shriners, Phelps lodges, etc. have all decreased because of the increasing number of people on the internet. With no strong community ties, society will fall apart because it has nothing holding it together.
    I found this book very excellent, easy to read, and full of great ideas and information. It has helped me develop my pre-existing thoughts to a higher level of understanding. I would recommend this book to anyone who would be willing to sit down and read it.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I will admit that I was dreading having to read this book for my

    I will admit that I was dreading having to read this book for my technology class. However after reading it I realize that this book is a MUST READ for educators, future educators, and even parents. Falling in the future education category I was opened up to a lot very intellectual points regarding using technology in the classroom. Clifford Stoll uses whit and sarcasm to make his points about using technology in the classroom, and why he thinks technology should not be used in the classroom. One point for not using it in the classroom is the cost. In today’s economy we really need to stop and think, Can we actually afford this? Computers alone are very expensive, then you add in smart boards, projectors, and software for EACH classroom and you are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. This isn’t even including software updates and technical problems that you have to pay to fix. Is technology really worth all that? Instead of investing so much money into technology Stoll argues that schools should be focusing on purchasing more books and resources for the students and also hiring more teachers for fewer students to teacher ratios. I agree with this 110%. After reading this book I realize that technology can only take students so far. I feel like students are so technology dependent that instead of going to the library to do research they simply use the Internet and Google it. Instead of doing mental math they rely on a calculator. The world needs to stop and think about how this is really jeopardizing the true learning of students. Overall Clifford Stoll provides a brilliantly written explanation of how technology is not all that it is cracked up to be. He surely opened my eyes and I highly recommend that ALL educators read this book!

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  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Extremely Recommended for those who work in Education.

    This book is one that should be read by anyone who works in a school system or has children in a school system. Clifford Stoll goes in depth and sometimes in an extreme context but none the less an accurate one about how computers (from the computers themselves, to software programs, and even calculators) do not necessarily belong in the classroom. This is the side of technology in the school system not enough people know about. The topics are fully covered in depth of the short comings of computers and software in the classroom. There is even a short excerpt where Stoll gives an example of a high-tech school where there are no teachers but instead there is software for each student in their own cubicles, and of course tech support scattered about. It may sound extreme and it most certainly is, but there is truth to what Stoll says about people believing technology will replace the teacher and practically the entire school experience. Being a college student myself, who has taken online courses in my college career I believe Stoll is spot on in his description of the online classroom. There is a significant difference in learning in the classroom and teaching yourself from an online class. Stoll says, ¿Yep, the main purpose of an electronic education is to get a credential,¿ this is as true a statement as, ¿The sky is blue on days there are no clouds.¿ Of course the main purpose of any education is to gain credentials but there is more than credentials gained in any classroom. Stoll goes on to point out the many thing you gain from a classroom like social skills, networking, and even when needed you can request recommendation from teachers. Recommendations from teachers can help if the recommendation is good, but how can a teacher you have never actual even shook hands with give an accurate recommendation for your resume? The answer is they cannot. If you are going to read any books on the controversies of technology in the classroom I suggest you make this book one of them if not the first of them. Clifford Stoll is full of energy in speeches and brings that energy into his writing. He has a long string of credentials that qualify him to critique the uses of technology and throughout the book introduces you to each of his expertise while showing you the bare facts of what is behind the computer screen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    High-Tech Heretic is a must reader!!

    In High-Tech Heretic, Clifford Stoll talks about how people use computers and rely on them way too much. Stoll doesn¿t think that computers should be relied on as much as people do right now. He says that he¿s not down on computers, he¿s just very critical of them. He thinks that computers are being used way too much in today¿s schools.
    This is a great book for teachers and future teachers to read. It makes you rethink about how much you want to use computers in your classroom. Most teachers plan on using computers a lot in their classrooms because of how much our society uses them. I think that computers should be used in the classrooms but not very much. A lot of people in the world put an emphasis on how much technology needs to be in the schools. A lot of people think that computers make learning fun but Stoll thinks that kids should go to school to learn and that they need to do hands on things to have fun and learn better. Stoll doesn¿t think that all computer use is wrong.
    Stoll believes that keyboarding skills are important but it only takes a few weeks to master so a lot of teachers are just wasting time teaching it year after year. He talks about how expensive technology is to have in the classroom and that teachers shouldn¿t have a bunch of computers in their classroom and that they shouldn¿t get new ones every year. They should reuse computers and try and have people donate them.
    This book has made me rethink how much I want to use computers in my future classroom. Before reading the book, I thought that computers should be used a lot and for every subject that I teach. After reading the book, I think that computers are very useful in the classroom for some things but that students also need a lot of hands on activities because when they get out into the real world, a lot of jobs require skills that you can¿t learn on computers like social skills and how to build things. Technology isn¿t bad, you just need to use it in the right way that is best for the students.

    by: Tiffany McCarty

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