Unfortunately, no such argument is forthcoming. In fact, Daisy moves on from the introduction without ever making it clear what the crux of her argument even is. And, without a clear and convincing thesis at the outset, this book too often feels unfocused and meandering.
For instance, Chapter 3 opens by looking at the impact of external access to facts, moves onto a discussion about multi-media learning principles, and wraps up with a nod to the popular education/employment debate. In isolation, these topics are interesting, and Daisy does a great job of covering them – but together there is little coherence, and the reader is left wondering where the book is going (and why).
Which leads to my primary issue with this book: it’s not really about technology. In fact, aside from a brief and seemingly obligatory mention of computers at the start and end of each chapter, meaningful discussions about technology do not truly appear until about two-thirds of the way through the book.
In truth, Teachers vs Tech is about how human beings learn.
To be fair, Daisy does a wonderful job outlining key learning principles. Unfortunately, readers drawn to this book will undoubtedly be looking for answers concerning the promised EdTech revolution – and I worry they will be frustrated by the lack of useful insight on this issue.
When Daisy does turn her focus to technology, her discussions are regrettably cursory, and her penchant for drawing upon academic research strangely disappears. For instance, after devoting three pages to exploring the principle of distributed practice (along with eight research citations that support her topic), she closes with a surprisingly-brief two paragraph comment about how some computer programs have adapted this principle.
To compound the problem, beyond a user’s manual and an unpublished modelling paper, these two paragraphs contain no references demonstrating efficacy. It’s one thing to highlight how a computer program has integrated the science of learning, but it’s quite another to show how students can (and will) meaningfully learn from that program. And, whereas the former is interesting, I worry that readers of this book will be looking for answers to the latter – and those answers are largely absent.