Working the numbers: The New York Times kicks off a series about the intersection of education, technology and business with a strongly reported piece by Matt Richtel pointing out that we don't know if any of the technology getting poured into schools does any good. (Among others, Tom Vander Ark takes issue with the Times piece here.) Trying to "prove" that technology is justified by looking for data echoes debates in the late 1980s over technology's impact on workplace productivity. At the time, economists couldn't see an impact in their data. Turns out they were (more or less) looking for the wrong thing. As the technology became widespread and fundamentally changed how we did business, those questions melted away.