Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I wanted to punch a grown man in the face the other day.

I wanted to punch a grown man in the face the other day.
He'd been in a shit job  for years earning about 1,600 euros a month  , and we decided to meet up for coffee at the suggestion of a mutual professional connection.
I spent 90 minutes pouring every ounce of passion I had into this guy , coming up with at least a dozen ways he could take his personal story and work history and create a new narrative both online and in person. I showed him how he could use tools like LinkedIn to circumvent the gatekeeper system and start connecting and engaging with the actual decision makers and hiring managers of the places he wanted to work at.

The Walking Dead

The guy just slouched lower in his seat, nodding meekly as I went all Sgt. Slaughter on him. It took everything I had not to jump up, shove the table between us aside, grab him by the collar and shout: "Hey! You want something? You have to go get it! You need to hustle! You need to show a pulse! You need to personalize your approach and show others how once they hire you, they'll realize they can't live without the value and benefit you bring their business!"
By the time we were finished, I was emotionally exhausted. I might as well have been trying to motivate a mannequin. As a test, I gave the guy my card and said, "Email me, and ask me to make the introductions to the people I told you about, or to give you more advice on the job search strategies I'm telling you about, and we can go from there."
The guy never emailed.

The Land of Plenty

What makes encounters like that one all the more maddening is that we're living in a time of almost limitless opportunity.
Think about it. We now carry a portable television studio (iPhone) in our pocket. We have the ability to broadcast our own television show to the entire world for free thanks to outlets like YouTube.
We have the ability to create our own personal printing press or online company thanks to blogs and websites. (Again, for free!)
We can write and publish books on the world's largest bookstore (Amazon.com) for free in a matter of minutes.
We can locate, engage and network with leaders and decision makers at every large and small business on the planet (again, at no cost) thanks to LinkedIn.
And your excuse for being out of work or staying stuck in a job you hate is what again?

Reality Bites

Here's the deal: You are going to die.
I don't say this to be morbid, but rather to remind us all that you only get one shot to really live.
I believe you were put on this planet for a reason, and that you have a unique value and benefit to share with the rest of us - in the business world and beyond.
So why are you wasting another 24 hours sitting on the sidelines of life?
Why aren't you chasing your dreams and doing what you love?

Passion. Purpose. Persistence.

Somebody turned me onto Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich a few months back.
I was intrigued because Hill kept saying there was one simple secret behind the most successful people on the planet - men like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and countless others.
What I discovered is that it really boils down to three things: Passion, Purpose and Persistence.
Passion is the activity we'd pay someone else to let us do, let alone doing it for a living and getting money for it.
Purpose is what we want out of life. And the more specific we can be about that, the better. Purpose also fuels Passion. As a mentor of mine likes to say, "You'll never make seven figures with six figure work habits."
Persistence is the most important of all. The life you want and the career you crave will not happen on its own.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence," Calvin Coolidge said. "Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
Arguably the greatest - and most clutch - basketball player in NBA history is Michael Jordan, winner of six NBA titles and five league MVP awards.
Jordan got cut from his high school team as a sophomore. He missed more than 9,000 shots during his career. He lost more than 300 games.
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life," Jordan is quoted as saying. "And that is why I succeed."

Let's Make a Deal

The only thing holding you back from living the life you want and doing the work you love is you.
That's why I wanted to punch that guy in the face the other day.
Will you make me a promise? Will you share this with someone who needs a kick in the pants? (If that person is you, print this post out and keep it on your desk!)
Look, the last thing we need is one more professional working a job he or she isn't passionate about. It's bad for you, it's bad for your customers and its bad for your employer.
So get after it!

When the Admiral returned

When the Admiral returned to his vehicle and was driven away, the machine gunners behind us exchanged Oriental maledictions among themselves and began packing up their weapons, and we started breathing normally again. We were marched back to the airstrip and herded into the ammo bunkers alongside, still hogtied with comm wire. Here we had a chance to loosen each other’s bonds, some to the point that we were not really tied up at all. A few hotheads wanted to overpower the few Japanese soldiers who were guarding us. Wiser heads prevailed with the argument, “OK, numb-nuts, then what?”
We were soon marched out again, this time to the airstrip where we joined the rest of the 1600 survivors of the battle of Wake. Curiously, the guards who escorted us ignored the fact that most of us had untied ourselves while in the bunker. We were herded onto the landing strip, where we sprawled on the white coral to toast, half naked, in the sub-tropical noonday sun, no water, no food, no heads, our “encampment” ringed with barbed wire and machine guns. We grouped ourselves together by unit or profession; civilians at one end of the strip, Marines at the other. When the sun went down we exchanged one discomfort for another and huddled our semi-naked bodies together for warmth against the cold winds blowing in from the ocean.
It was not until noon the next day that water came, in unrinsed fifty-five gallon drums that had originally contained gasoline. It was awful stuff, but by this time we were thirsty enough to drink from a hog wallow, so we swilled down as much of it as we could stand. For days afterward, everything tasted or smelled of gasoline, including the meager rations of gruel and bread that we received before we were moved next to the former civilian barracks on Christmas day, where the Japanese allowed our Marine and civilian cooks to get back into action, and we began receiving two meals a day.
Just before the move, the Japanese had gathered up all the discarded clothing they could find and dumped it at the airstrip. None of us found our original clothing. I wound up in civilian khaki with shoes that almost fit, and there was no longer any way to tell who was civilian and who was Marine by our attire. We were a motley crew, indeed.new marines by waterloo of italy in ho oo
At least 350 civilian members of this motley crew had actively participated in the defense of Wake, and dozens of them had died or been wounded in the act. Many of them begged Major Devereux to enlist them as Marines, a request he denied on the grounds that he had no authority to do so. It didn’t matter to the Japanese. As far as they were concerned, we were all horyos, prisoners of war, civilian, soldier, sailor, or Marine alike.
After the surrender, Dr. Ozeki had assisted the American Naval doctor and civilian surgeon in tending to the wounded on both sides. His compassionate treatment of American patients is recalled with gratitude by Marines who were under his care.
Former Marine Wiley Sloman, recovering from a serious head wound, recalled before his recent death that Dr. Ozeki granted his request for American food to replace the rice and seaweed that he couldn’t eat. Wiley had been left for dead on Wilkes until a “clean-up crew” after the surrender found him and brought him to the hospital.
The Americans on Wake were not what Dr. Ozeki expected:
The Americans who surrendered to us were not the savage brutes we had expected to encounter. We had been instructed that in hand-to-hand combat to never allow an American “gorilla” to come within arm’s length as they were all trained boxers…[and] one solid punch was enough to break a man’s neck. It made me laugh to hear from one of the POWs that they were told to stay clear of US because we were all black belts in Judo and Jujitsu.
Many of the Americans with whom Dr. Ozeki conversed were undoubtedly civilians, who outnumbered the Marines three to one. Marines and civilians had been stripped and re-attired willy-nilly in each other’s clothing and Dr. Ozeki’s remarks indicate that he considered all Americans on Wake to be Marines.
Shortly after the surrender, Dr. Ozeki selected then PFC Edwin Borne to drive a truck around the island picking up wounded Japanese soldiers, later collecting wounded Americans. For the next several hours, Borne ferried the doctor around the island on various other errands.
The selection of POWs to drive vehicles was a necessary evil. In pre-World War II Japan most lower-ranking Japanese soldiers or sailors had never ridden in a motor vehicle, let alone operated one. American POWs captured in the Philippines, where Japanese army discipline was notoriously poor, would watch in grim satisfaction as Japanese soldiers mangled captured vehicles and themselves in “kamikaze” attempts to master the mysterious enemy machines. General Yamashita’s chauffeur in conquered Manila was a U. S. Marine corporal.
In a rare post-war reconciliation, Dr. Ozeki met several years ago with his former part-time chauffeur, Eddie Borne and two of his former patients, Wiley Sloman and Walter T. Kennedy in Nagoya, Japan. This event apparently received a lot of “good press” in Japan, but has divided the dwindling ranks of Wake Island Defenders. Some believe that it is time to let bygones be bygones with the Japanese; others are adamant that it can never happen in their lifetime.
Regardless of the policies of his government, past and present, Dr. Ozeki proved himself to be a humanitarian on Wake Island. To revile him merely because he is Japanese is no different than the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki reviling all Americans, and perhaps surprisingly, with only a few diehard exceptions, the record shows that they do not. We should also forgive, but never forget.
As time marches on, it is beginning to be a moot point. Dr. Ozeki is no longer with us and there are only a few Wake Islanders left on both sides of the debate, so perhaps the issue will soon fade away into the sunset, as it should.
After we were crowded into the civilian barracks on Wake by the Japanese, Japanese soldiers became much more amiable and willing to try out their few English words. Along with Dr. Ozeki, they had discovered that Americans were human after all and not the “gorillas” they had feared to find on Wake Island.
In an amazing display of naiveté, Japanese “technicians” took our three inch gun crews, including me, back to our gun positions and requested instructions on their operation. There were con-artists among us, including me, so in short order the few firing locks remaining in the guns were smuggled out of the gun positions and wound up buried in the sand or in the depths of the lagoon.
I have wondered about this for more than 60 years. Did the Japanese really believe that we would cooperate with them? One explanation for this apparent simple-minded trust may lie in the Japanese Bushido attitude towards surrender. Death before surrender, says Bushido. To surrender is such a despicable act that one loses all honor and becomes so depraved that moral scruples are out the window, so why not betray one’s country’s secrets to its enemies? I can think of no other explanation for the Japanese technicians’ strange belief that we would show them how our weapons worked.
On January 12, 1942, most of us embarked on the Nitta Maru, a former passenger ship that had been converted into a troop ship. We left behind the seriously wounded and about 350 civilians.
The Naval Landing Force which had taken Wake was an elite assault force, the Japanese equivalent of American Marines. They appeared to respect the courage and military skill of the defenders, in spite of the fact that we had violated the warrior code of Bushido by surrendering, and there had been no serious mistreatment of POWs on the island. This would soon change.
As we came over the side of ship up the Jacob’s ladder from the landing barge below, we ran a gauntlet of kicks, blows and screaming epithets from members of the ship’s crew. Many of the small bundles of possessions that some of us carried were confiscated or thrown overboard. We were shoved and kicked down the ladders into two large cargo holds which measured less than four feet from top to bottom. Except at the hatchways, it was impossible to stand up straight.
Guards were posted at the hatchways. We soon discovered that attracting their attention in any way was a drastic mistake. Newly posted guards asserted their authority by testing judo throws or punches on the handiest prisoners. For the remainder of their watch they randomly cuffed and whacked prisoners who caught their eye. Since we were forbidden to change positions or move about under pain of death, those nearest the guards received more than their share of punishment. I had foresightedly scuttled as far away from the hatch as I could and missed my share of the fun. It took some of us longer than others to learn the first rule of survival in a prison camp: Be as inconspicuous as possible.
Notice that in the REGULATIONS FOR PRISONERS reproduced below, death sentences are prescribed for such dire crimes as “individualism” and “egoism.” The Japanese sure knew our weak spots. Japanese Regulations for Prisoners published in "Enemy on Island. Issue in Doubt." by Stan Cohen
We spent the next 12 days miserably huddled in the cargo holds of the Nitta Maru. Twice a day we received a bowl of watery rice gruel, garnished occasionally with bits of pickled daikon (Japanese radish) or small half-rotten fish, heads and all. By the time the trip ended we no longer turned up our noses at our Oriental menu and had begun to consider fish eyeballs a delicacy.
As we moved into the colder waters of the northern Pacific, our thin cotton blankets were no longer adequate, and we shook and shivered and huddled together for warmth. The thirty officers making the trip fared somewhat better in a small compartment that had once been used for a mailroom. They, too, received their share of beatings from sadistic guards.marx soldiers like these are almost perfect for wake defenders, a slight conversion of trouser bottoms
On 18 January, the ship arrived in Yokohama, where thirty of the prisoners, including the squadron commander of VMF 211, Major Paul Putnam, were removed and taken to a prison camp at Zentsuji, where they would join their fellow POWs from Guam. Most of them were officers or men who for one reason or another the Japanese apparently believed possessed more technical information than other prisoners.
The Yokohama layover provided a propaganda bonanza for the Japanese. Senior officers were interviewed and photographed by Japanese reporters, who insisted that they smile for the cameras. An article in a Japanese newspaper boasted that the prisoners “were admiring the bushido treatment they received on the boat” and that “the Japanese exerted every effort to thresh out American individualism. Now they are very cooperative with the Japanese.” These pictures eventually made their way back to America, where they appeared in Life Magazine.
Down in the hold, we had no idea what was going on and had no chance to smile for the cameras.
On January 20 the ship set sail for Shanghai and further lessons in Bushido. Two days out of Yokohama, the commander of the fifty-man prisoner-guard detachment, Captain Toshio Saito, mustered his men and available ship’s company on the main deck and called for five prisoners, apparently selected at random, to be brought forward. One of the Japanese crewmen present recalled the scene in post-war testimony to the War Crimes Commission:

Captain Saito took his position on a box or a barrel which was approximately three feet in width. He drew his sword and held it at his right shoulder to indicate that the executions were to begin. Saito took a piece of paper from his pocket. . . the following message was read by Saito to the five prisoners of war (who were blindfolded) in front of him in Japanese and was substantially as follows:

“You have killed many Japanese soldiers in battle. For what you have done you are now going to be killed – for revenge. You are here as representatives of your American soldiers and will be killed. You can now pray to be happy in the next world – in heaven.”

After reading the death warrant Saito folded the paper and I believe he placed it in his pocket. Each of the victims was made to kneel by the guards standing sentry over them. They were blindfolded with hands tied behind them. . . I recall of the five victims, two of them had their heads completely cut from their bodies. Their heads rolled to one side. Three of the victims were not totally decapitated.

At Saito’s orders, a different warrant or petty officer “stepped up to the plate” for each prisoner. The ship’s crew enthusiastically applauded each blow, even when botched and the head was not chopped off properly, requiring the swordsman to make a second chop or even a third.

When all five heads were finally chopped off, other men were handed the swords for the sport of trying to cut the corpses in two with a single stroke, samurai style. But none of them were samurai; they were just hackers, slashing away in a welter of blood. When they had had enough, Saito had the bodies propped against a sake barrel so that his guards could stick them for bayonet practice. When the bayoneters had had enough, the carcasses and the chopped-off heads were thrown overboard. That night, Saito invited some guests to celebrate the satisfactions of the occasion. (Gavan Daws, Prisoners of the Japanese, p. 49)
From the testimony of Japanese witnesses and participants, it is clear that Saito acted without authority in the time honored tradition of gekokujo, which can be loosely translated in this case to mean a “heroic” act by a subordinate in defiance of higher authority. He could be reasonably certain that if and when his actions became known to higher authority, reproof, if any, would be mild, completely eclipsed by admiration for his warlike Bushido spirit. The beheadings were obviously not meant as a warning to other prisoners, who may have suspected the worst, but did not discover what happened until after the war. Saito’s apparent motive was to “harden” his men for combat by forcing them to participate in a bloody slaughter. This was common practice in the Japanese army, which had access to Chinese prisoners, but uncommon in the Navy due to the lack of available victims.
Retired Commander Glenn Tripp, USN, then a third class petty officer, was a close friend of two of the sailors executed on the Nitta Maru. He claims that a Japanese warrant officer who spoke a little English told him that the five men had been beheaded and that the story was common knowledge among the prisoners.
General Devereux does not mention the incident in his book, published immediately after the war. It seems inconceivable that he would have left this event out of his book had he known about it. In his 1961 memoir, Admiral Cunningham states that he did not learn of the atrocities until after the war. It is also inconceivable that the admiral’s yeoman, Glenn Tripp, did not pass on his knowledge to the admiral while they were together in prison camp. Sorry Glenn, your memory is playing tricks on you.
Four of the five petty officers involved in the Nitta Maru massacre were tried and sentenced to life at hard labor by the War Crimes Tribunal after the war; a fifth was acquitted. After about nine years of imprisonment, they were paroled. Saito, who survived the war, strangely enough could not be found and was never brought to justice. Commander Cunningham has remarked, “How [Saito] could remain uncaptured through all these years in an island kingdom noted for its effective police control is a final mystery well worth pondering

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Ginger shakin' beef

  • Calories
  • Fat
  • Saturates
  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Sugars
  • Salt
  • Fibre
5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food

5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food



  • 300 g sirloin steak , (ideally 1.5cm thick)
  • 4 cm piece of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey
  • 2 pak choi pak choi (250g)




Pull the fat off the sirloin, finely slice the fat and place it in a cold non-stick frying pan. Put on a medium-high heat to crisp up while you peel and matchstick the ginger, then add that to crisp up, too. Cut off the sinew, then dice the steak into 3cm chunks and toss with the miso until well coated. Scoop the crispy fat and ginger out and put aside, then add the steak chunks to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes, tossing regularly, then drizzle in the honey and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Toss for 1 more minute until shiny and sticky.

Meanwhile, halve the pak choi, cook in a pan of boiling water for just 1 minute so they retain a bit of crunch, then drain well and plate up. Spoon over the steak and sticky juices from the pan, and finish with the reserved crispy bits.

greek island

Cosa fare a Elafonissos, l’isola-quasi isola del golfo di Laconia

Vacanze a Elafonissos, isoletta del golfo di Laconia distante poche centinaia di metri dal Peloponneso

Esiste un luogo dove la bellezza dell’ambiente marino unito alle caratteristiche tipiche della natura greca formano un connubio perfetto per chi è alla ricerca di tranquillità, sognando un comodo soggiorno da trascorrere fra spiagge immense e facendosi coccolare dalle onde del mare cristallino. Questo luogo è Elafonissos – o Elafonisos, però è anche indicata in con il nome di Cervi – ed è un’isola-quasi isola di fronte alla punta sud est del Golfo di Laconia e a Pounta, piccola località vicino a Neapolis, sulla costa del Peloponneso.
Le sue coste sono lunghe appena 25 chilometri e la superficie non raggiunge i 20 chilometri quadrati. Elafonissos conta circa 720 abitanti prevalentemente insediati nella parte a nord dove si trovano il centro abitato e il porto. Sulla “Onu Gnaton” (Mascella d’Asino) – nome antico della penisola quando ancora era unita da una lingua di terra alla costa prospicente – è sempre stata riscontrata la presenza dell’uomo che edificò un tempio dedicato alla dea Atena.
Il sisma del 375 fece diventare Elafonissos un’isola; le genti e i popoli che si alternarono nel governo di questo piccolo lembo di terra furono i bizantini prima e i saraceni poi; più tardi si susseguirono veneziani e turchi e in seguito francesi e inglesi. Le sue coste furono teatro di epiche battaglie navali. Elafonissos fu definitivamente aggregata alla Grecia solo nel 1850. In questa guida scopriremo che cosa fare in questa località poco conosciuta ma molto affascinante dal punto di vista paesaggistico e così ricca di storia.
Per chi punta al turismo balneare, a sudovest del centro abitato di Elafonissos ci sono le spiagge: Kontagoni, con piccoli edifici per vacanzieri, e Kalogeras, caratterizzata dagli alberi di cedro e dune sabbiose. Nella parte sudest troverete il porto e diversi servizi turistici su tutto il litorale. In questa zona è possibile ammirare la chiesetta di Agios Spiridona da cui si accede alla strada verso sud. La chiesa, costruita nel 1858 e ristrutturata nel 1862, è fatta di pietra di Malta e al suo interno custodisce diverse icone.
Il centro abitato di Elafonisos è visitabile tranquillamente a piedi: è caratterizzato da pochi alberghetti, numerose camere in affitto e seconde case. È possibile ristorarsi in alcune taverne e bar, ed essendo in riva al mare potete acccedere alle sue spiagge: la balneazione è consentita. Ma se questa è la vostra idea potete aspirare a qualcosa di più speciale, dopotutto siete in un luogo conosciuto per le sue spiagge paradisiache, perché accontentarsi?
Sul lato orientale dell’isola, sulla strada per Simos, si trova la spiaggia Lefky, con sabbia bianca e rocce e con un mare dai fondali color smeraldo. Sovente la baia di Lefky funge da riparo per le piccole imbarcazioni dai forti venti meridionali, è uno spettacolo naturale che preannuncia il famoso litorale di Simos.
Elafonissos vanta infatti una delle più belle spiagge del Mediterraneo, proprio il litorale di Simos, che si trova a sud est nella baia di Frago. Un sottile tratto di sabbia divide due “porzioni” di mare: la spiaggia a est, di dimensioni più ridotte e più protetta dai venti ha una laguna bellissima; e la spiaggia a ovest, immensa, ma poco frequentata probabilmente perché il mare è decisamente più agitato e i venti soffiano forti.
Una passeggiata sul promontorio di Simos vi regalerà una splendida vista, specialmente se deciderete di farla nel primo pomeriggio, quando tutta la baia si colora di sfumature bellissime, ad ogni passo che potrete scorgere la moltitudine di gigli selvatici che incorniciano il tragitto. Suggestivo anche il litorale della baia di Saracenico che si estende sul lato meridionale dell’isola di Elafonissos. Un tempo la baia è stata un buon approdo del Mediterraneo e le sue coste e caverne nascondigli perfetti durante le numerose battaglie navali e nelle incursioni di pirati.
Elafonissos dunque terra di bellezza naturale, ma anche di storia, grazie al suo passato avventuroso. Imbarcandovi dal porto o se preferite anche via terra con una distanza di circa 4 chilometri dal capoluogo, si raggiunge la parte occidentale e la spiaggia Nissia di Panagia che ospita Kato Nissi il secondo centro abitato di Elafonissos, che è un posto molto tranquillo. Attraverso una stradina di sabbia si può arrivare alla chiesa di Panagia simbolo della zona: fu costruita nel 1825 sui resti di un’antica chiesa bizantina. Al suo interno sono custoditi affreschi e icone che rivelano il suo trascorso storico.
Durante la Festa della Panagia Katanissiotissa la chiesa di Panagia accoglie molti pellegrini che gratuitamente vengono trasportati sulla spiaggia via mare; è sicuramente un luogo da non perdere specialmente per chi ama inoltrarsi nella cultura e nei costumi del luogo. Negli ultimi tempi Kato Nissi è spesso scelta come location per matrimoni sulla spiaggia: gli alberi di cedro e il mare sono fra le migliori cornici che si possano desiderare.
Più volte Elafonissos è stata definita un paradiso e la bellezza del luogo è all’altezza del termine. Quest’isola oltre ad offrire spiagge quasi caraibiche e un mare trasparente, sulla costa ad est di Punta vanta una laguna (Lago Stroghyli) che è il rifugio per specie molto rare di uccelli migratori. Qui troviamo fenicotteri, anatre selvatiche, falchi di palude, dove a seconda della profondità delle acque ogni specie trova il proprio nutrimento. A così stretto contatto con la natura anche a voi sembrerà di aver trovato il vostro paradiso, almeno per quanto riguarda le vacanze


Astudy just appeared in Education Next, under the title “Should Professors Ban Laptops?” The study worked like this:
Researchers went to West Point and tracked students in three sections of Principles of Economics. One section was technology-free—no laptops or tablets permitted in the classroom. A second section gave students the freedom to use laptops and tablets at their discretion, with no controls or requirements. A third section was “tablet only,” a method “designed to replicate the intended use of Internet-enabled technology as a non-distracting resource during class.” The aim of this section, and of such methods generally, was to implement technology in the classroom while preventing students from hijacking it for non-academic purposes.
The experiment was run with 50 classrooms and 726 students over two terms. Each instructor, too, taught at least one no-technology section and one of the other two sections. The decisive measure was performance by students on the final exam. The results were striking—and disappointing for people who believe that better classroom technology and implementation will produce higher student achievement.
Here is the finding for unrestricted technology use relative to no technology use: Exam scores dropped by 0.18 standard deviations.
And here is the finding for restricted technology use relative to no technology use: Exam scores dropped by only slightly less, 0.17 standard deviations.
The small difference suggests that attempts to streamline classroom technology to academic purposes alone are ineffectual or, when they are effectual, indicate that something inherent in the technology is part of the problem.
When we convert the numbers to GPA measures, the finding goes like this:
[A] student in a classroom that prohibits computers is on equal footing with a peer who is in a class that allows computers and whose GPA is one-third of a standard deviation higher—nearly the difference between a B+ and an A- average, for example.
There is more. When the researchers broke the sample up into subgroups by race, gender, college-entrance exam scores, and high school GPA, “in no group did students appear to significantly benefit from access to computers in the classroom.”
The findings support those of us who have banned technology from our classrooms for many years. We have been called “Luddites,” people captive to “moral panics,” and get-off-my-lawn curmudgeons. Just the other day, in a puerile defense of Twitter and texting as writing platforms in the Wall Street Journal, an English teacher referred to people who bemoan the writing that takes place on social media as “schoolmarms.” (The piece stands behind a paywall.)
But while the pro-technology innovators have typically cast traditionalists as hidebound and unempirical people caught up in myths and anxiety, the truth is the opposite. Technology enthusiasts are the real ideologues in this debate (and a lot of them make a whole lot of money on the wiring of schools). The empirical evidence against computers in the classroom is mounting (the Education Next article reviews several other studies).
At the very least, the jury is out on the value of computer-assisted instruction. Some day we may have evidence of genuine academic advancement arising from the outfitting of classrooms and students with the latest devices, which cost millions of dollars. Until then, teachers should draw back, return to pencil and paper and chalkboards, and determine for themselves whether the promises of digital instruction are just so much hot air.