• The Flight of a Butterfly or the Path of a Bullet?: Using Technology to Transform Teaching and Learning, Mar/2018

The Flight of a Butterfly or the Path of a Bullet?: Using Technology to Transform Teaching and Learning, Mar/2018

Author(s) Larry Cuban
ISBN10 1682531376
ISBN13 9781682531372
Format Paperback
Pages 248
Year Publish 2018 March


In this book, Larry Cuban looks at the uses and effects of digital technologies in K–12 classrooms, exploring if and how technology has transformed teaching and learning. In particular, he examines forty-one classrooms across six districts in Silicon Valley that have devoted special attention and resources to integrating digital technologies into their education practices.

Cuban observed all of the classrooms and interviewed each of the teachers in an effort to answer several straightforward, if also elusive, questions: Has technology integration been fully implemented and put into practice in these classrooms, and has this integration and implementation resulted in altered teaching practices? Ultimately, Cuban asks if the use of digital technologies has resulted in transformed teaching and learning in these classrooms. 

The answers to these questions reflect Cuban’s assessment not only of digital technologies and their uses, but of the complex interrelations of policy and practice, and of the many—often unintended—consequences of reforms and initiatives in the education world. Similarly, his answers reflect his subtle understanding of change and continuity in education practice, and of the varying ways in which different actors in the education world—policy makers, school leaders, teachers, and others—understand, and sometimes misinterpret, those changes.
The result is a crucial contribution to our knowledge of digital technologies and their place in contemporary education practice from one of our leading scholars of education policy, practice, and reform.


Larry Cuban's insightful study of exemplary educational technologies validates their place in the contemporary classrooms that he observes in this book. But his close examination also reveals that the introduction of digital technologies has not resulted in fundamental instructional changes. With wisdom and a profound sense of the larger historical context, Cuban reminds us that these incremental shifts have been meaningful and enriching for those involved—even if they have not transformed American schooling as hoped.  Louise Bay Waters, superintendent and CEO, Leadership Public Schools, California

Want glib comments about education reform? Read Twitter. Want nuance? Read Larry Cuban’s latest book. He documents both the successes and failures of recent education technologies. Cuban looks carefully at contemporary classrooms and at the work of teachers and students alike—then steps back to show how the digital innovations at work in those classrooms fit into a century of educational reforms. Mike Goldstein, founder, Match Education

About the Author:

Larry Cuban is professor emeritus of education at Stanford University.