Ther is no doubt that students will need tech skills to survive in the job market, but I believe that we're too quick to buy the latest gadget without thinking things through. I actually like the SMART boards. However, I can't see buying the SMART tables. There are other ways to engage children in learning and to promote teamwork. At $7,000 each, enough SMART tables for 20 classrooms would cost $140,000. At $8,000 each, enough boards for 20 classrooms would cost $160,000. For that kind of money, you could hire several more teachers and buy some supplies for group activities.
In these rough economic times, we need to make intelligent decisions about our education dollars. At a time when teaching positions are being cut due to lack of funds, how can we justify spending big bucks on the latest tech toys? A good teacher can make a world of difference in a child's life, and most children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, respond well to more attention from teachers.
Besides, I've yet to see a tech toy that addresses the problem of a lack of basic skills or the wasteful practice of constant testing and teaching to the test.