Okay perhaps I phrased some of my points poorly.
a) Yes, the research and curriculum needs to be focused on what the student needs. I just happen to believe that if used correctly, the technology can be used as a really great tool for providing what the student needs in an engaging way. Then again, we as a society can't even agree on what students actually need. What should a student know when they are done with their mandatory years of education? Do we really need to be attempting to push every student in the country to a college degree? Should they at least know how to balance a budget at home? Because as it stands now, students exiting high school can't even do that.
b) If the teachers can't even be bothered to spend some time learning tools which have the potential to help the students learn, then how can they be surprised when the students can't be bothered to learn what the teachers are trying to teach? If the teacher has no interest in improving their ability to teach then they have no business being a teacher.
c) No, I wasn't trying to say that money was "the answer". But money is needed. It needs to exist to be spent on education. It needs to be **properly managed** [something that is certainly not happening now]. And as you say, we spend a lot of time and money trying to educate kids who don't want to be. I think we would be much better off if at some point in their educational career, kids were given a choice [with some guidance] to choose different tracks. If a kid wants to aim for college, then they can take the college prep track. If they want to work on cars, then put them in an automotive repair/engineering track and so on. They'll still need to have basic knowledge/skills [history/govt, english/grammar, some level of math, some level of basic science. *comprehensive* sex education] but there's no reason to force them to take a bunch of [these are just examples] advanced algebra classes or biology [beyond very basic biology] if they have no interest in it. So yes, there are sociological issues that also need to be dealt with. That doesn't mean it's totally worthless to spend money on some level of education for all the children in our society.
Re the conclusion: I never said technology was a panacea. I never said we didn't still need good teachers [you know, the ones that are willing to learn to use tools]. Good teachers will always be the key. But as I said, a LOT of education can be done by technology in a way which multiplies the force of the good teacher. If we try to go 100% technology then I agree, that's the wrong way to go. But wouldn't it be great if the technology could be used to teach the things technology is good at teaching, and the teachers could be used to teach the things that people are good at teaching?
As an example, in the late 90's I used to work for a company that sold an educational software/hardware package to schools. It was a really great system. Based on the results of a private school that did educational research, it was a set a 3 computers that would be installed in a Kindergarten classroom [eventually they had 1st and 2nd grade versions]. Throughout the day the kindergarten kids would spend 15 minutes on the computer, and it would *help* teach them to read. It included an audio CD [with the various songs which were sung in the program], VHS tapes with some of the songs/videos, and a set of story books that went along with different parts of the program. The CDs, tapes and books went home with each student. So at school, they got a 15 minute lesson from software which had the ability to show the kids a lesson in a fun, engaging way, then check to see if the child had learned it [and throughout the program would double check previous lessons to make sure the kid remembered long-term]. If the child had trouble with a concept, the system would re-visit the concept occasionally until the kid learned it properly. The tapes and books were critical as well, sent with instructions for the parents to actually let the kids listen/watch, and to read the books with their kids.
If nothing else it was a prod to the parents to become involved in their kids education. To be honest, just the parents reading without the computer time would help the kids. Or just the computer time without the home reading/watching would help the kids read. But put them together and their reading improved dramatically faster, especially in low-income districts where the parents were less likely to spend time helping their kids read.
The point is, yes, there needs to be a balance. More technology, if used correctly can help educate our children. No, that technology is not a panacea. But saying "Hey, the technology can't do everything" is no reason to avoid using the technology for the things it CAN do.