Sitting in the airport waiting on a flight to Toronto, I scanned this week's email from ScienceDaily and found this gem:
Students who get stuck look for computer malfunctions
When students attempting to solve a mathematical problem, were informed by the computer that their answer was incorrect, they often focused on trying to find the reasons for this in the functions of the educational software itself.
"They would maintain that their answers merely needed to be rephrased, that the computer's answers were wrong in the same way as answers on an answer key of a mathematics textbook could be wrong, or provided other similar explanations," says Annika Lantz-Andersson.
Does this really surprise anyone who has ever dealt with (a) computers, (b) students, or (c) human beings in general? [The article does not indicate the age of the students, but I'd guess high school.]
I'll bet the Hamas attackers in this story blamed their hi-tech option, the horses...
One noteworthy element in the story:
"There is a kind of silence in the relationship between students and the educational software they use. The computer never gets tired, is not bothered by endless examples of random answers, does not distinguish between students, but on the other hand cannot provide individually-fitted feedback, which is one of the most important tasks of a teacher", she continues.
This reminds me of one of the major reasons why Torah sheb'al peh, the spoken Torah (midrash/mishnah/gemara), was meant to be kept verbal rather than written. The ideal teacher/student relationship requires bi-directional feedback, which will never occur with a written text.