Daniel Lemire commented on a previous post of mine, and I thought I had an elaboration that merited a post, rather than burial in a comments thread. I had written that computers could be useful as tools in primary school, but not as objects of study themselves. He suggested a parallelism with pencils, etc., and yes, those other things are tools, too. But, while those are necessary, I don't believe that computers are necessary tools. Potentially useful, yes, but kids can learn the same things without computers. Here's a quote by Alan Kay from "Revealing the Elephant: The Uses and Misuses of Computers in Education":
Suppose it were music the nation is concerned about. Our parents are worried that their children won't succeed in life unless they are musicians. Our musical test scores are the lowest in the world. After much hue and cry, Congress comes up with a technological solution: 'By the year 2000 we will put a piano in every classroom! But there are no funds to hire musicians, so we will retrain the existing teachers for two weeks every summer. That should solve the problem!' But we know that nothing much will happen here, because as any musician will tell you, the music is not in the piano!