As personal computers have become more available, there has been a great deal of optimism for educational reform through wide computer use, both at school and in the home. Beyond Technology's Promise takes a hard look at the home computer scene. The research reported in the book focuses on whether families are using computers to help children learn academic skills and, if so, how well they are doing it. The three year, qualitative investigation provides contextual information crucial to our understanding of how computers are really being used. The authors draw the not so surprising conclusion that most children use computers to play games. They therefore propose directions that must be taken in order to facilitate the educational use of home computers or any other promising educational technology. In so doing, they examine such topics as parental leadership, the home-school computer connection, and the role of gender in home computing use.
"[Giacquinta's] writing is eloquent, rich in anecdotes, rhetorical and persuasive." David Hawkridge, Nature "...takes a hard look at the home computer scene...the three-year, qualitative investigation provides contextual information crucial to our understanding of how computers are really being used..." Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society "The authors of Beyond Technology's Promise have provided the field with important and foundational information regarding home computing that suggests that the purchase of a computer does not insure effective computer use." Margaret A. Gallego, Mind, Culture, and Activity