You are here:

It is Not Only About the Computers: An Argument for Broadening the Conversation

, University at Buffalo, United States

CITE Journal Volume 6, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


In 2002 the members of the National Technology Leadership Initiative (NTLI) framed seven conclusions relating to handheld computers and ubiquitous computing in schools. While several of the conclusions are laudable efforts to increase research and professional development, the factual and conceptual bases for this document are seriously flawed. The NTLI members' failure to address market forces, teacher agency, and sociocultural influences on schools and instruction perpetuates harmful myths about educational computing and makes successful integration of handheld computers less likely. The author argues for a more realistic, holistic, and teacher-friendly approach.


DeWitt, S.W. (2006). It is Not Only About the Computers: An Argument for Broadening the Conversation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 6(2), 259-270. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved December 17, 2018 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Anderson, R.E., & Becker, H.J. (2001). School investments in instructional technology (No. 8). Irvine, CA: Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations.
  2. Attewell, P. (2001). The first and second digital divides. Sociology of Education, 74, 252-259.
  3. Bell, L. (Ed.) (2001). Preparing tomorrow's teachers to use technology: Perspectives of the leaders of twelve national education associations. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online Serial] , 1 (4). Retrieved March 15, 2006, from
  4. Berson, M.J., & Berson, I.R. (2004). Developing thoughtful "cybercitizens." Social Studies and the Young Learner, 16(4), 5-8.
  5. Bork, A. (1980) Interactive learning. In R. Taylor (Ed.), The computer in school: Tutor, tool, tutee (pp. 5 3-66). New York: Teachers College Press. Republished in 2003 by
  6. Bork, A. (2003). Interactive learning: Twenty years later. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 2 (4). Retrieved March 16, 2006, from
  7. Bull, G., Bull, G., Garofalo, J., & Harris, J. (2002). Grand challenges: Preparing for the technological tipping point. Learning& Leading With Technology, 29 (8), 6-12.
  8. Cincinnati Public Schools. (2004). Overview of Cincinnati Public Schools. Retrieved April 18, 2004, from
  9. Cornbleth, C. (2001). Climates of constraint/restraint of teachers and teaching. In W.B. Stanley (Ed.), Critical issues in social studies research for the 21st century (pp. 73-95).
  10. Cuban, L. (1985). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920. New York: Teachers College Press.
  11. Cuban, L. (1993). Computers meet classroom: Classroom wins. Teachers College Record, 9 5 (2), 185-210.
  12. Cuban, L. (1995). Deja vu all over again? Electronic Learning, 15 (2), 34.
  13. Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: Computers in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  14. Diem, R.A. (2000). Can it make a difference? Technology and the social studies. Theory& Research in Social Education, 28(4), 493-501.
  15. Henrico County VA Public Schools. (2006). Budget document 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2006, from
  16. Ignatius, D. (2006, February 22). From 'connectedness' to conflict. The Washington Post, P.A 1 5.
  17. Johnston, C. (2003). Cape of good hopes: Digital Education Enhancement Project. The Times Educational Supplement, 4557, 1 7.
  18. Laird, E. (2001, July 13). Internet plagiarism: We all pay the price. The Chronicle of Higher Education, B5.
  19. Light, J.S. (2001). Rethinking the digital divide. Harvard Educational Review, 71 (4), 709-733. Louis P. Ciminelli Construction Companies. (2003). The Buffalo Public Schools project. Retrieved March 20, 2006, from D f
  20. Moore, G.E. (1965). Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. Electronics, 3 8(8), 1 14-117.
  21. Mrozowski, J. (2004, August 17). City schools overspent $21.7M. Cincinnati Enquirer [Electronic version]. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from
  22. New York State Education Department. (2005). District report card: Comprehensive information report: Buffalo City School District. Retrieved March 16, 2006, from
  23. Rebbapragada, N. (2005). Top 10 PDAs: Windows Mobile handhelds new to the chart offer a variety of entertainment-oriented features. Retrieved January 29, 2006, from,aid,121785,00.asp#
  24. Saye, J.W., & Brush, T. (2004). Scaffolding Problem-Based Teaching in a Traditional Social Studies Classroom. Theory& Research in Social Education, 32(3), 349-378.
  25. Scopes, J.T. (1997). The world's most famous court trial: The Tennessee evolution case. Union, NJ: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
  26. Segall, A. (2003). The impact of state-mandated testing according to social studies teachers: The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) as a case study of consequences. Theory& Research in Social Education, 31 (3), 287-325.
  27. Staples, B. (2004, May 29). What adolescents miss when we let them grow up in cyberspace. New York Times, 14. Streibel, M.J. (1 998). Information technology and physicality in community, place, and presence. Theory into Practice, 37 (1), 31-37.
  28. Thornton, C., & Aquino, G. (2002, April). Next-generation PDA'S. PCWorld, 85-94.
  29. Van Hover, S., Berson, M.J., Bolick, C.M., & Swan, K.O. (2004). Implications of ubiquitous computing for the social studies curriculum. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 20 (3), 107-111.
  30. Wangemann, P., Lewis, N., & Squires, D.A. (2003). Portable technology comes of age. T.H.E. Journal, 31 (4), 26-28, 30, 32.
  31. Williams, R. (2004, November). Using handheld technologies in high school economics.
  32. Windschitl, M., & Sahl, K. (2002). Tracing teachers' use of technology in a laptop computer school: The interplay of teacher beliefs, social dynamics, and institutional culture. American Educational Research Journal, 39(1), 165-205.
  33. Zurita, G., & Nussbaum, M. (2004). Computer supported collaborative learning using wirelessly interconnected handheld computers. Computers& Education, 42(3), 289-314.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact

View References & Citations Map

Cited By

  1. A Year of Reflection: The More Things Change

    Mark Pearcy, Rider University, United States

    Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 13, No. 4 (December 2013) pp. 360–385

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact