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Free tablets: an election sweetener without nourishment

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When asked about ACT Labor's election promise to provide free tablets to every public high school student my astute 13-year-old told me, "It's stupid. I'd love a free tablet but no one needs a tablet."

It's as if the ACT government didn't ask actual students, the apparent beneficiaries. My teen went on, laughing: "Tablets do less than Chromebooks [Simple, lightweight laptops designed to be used connected to the Internet, with documents that live in the 'cloud'] which are more useful. There's no mouse pad or keyboard. I've never had 'enhanced learning' because of a tablet. What tablet would it be any way? They range from 50 bucks to more than 600."

Labor's $17 million campaign sweetener is neither based on evidence about how to achieve an outcome or designed with an outcome in mind. The concerns of parents about the Education Directorate's current bring-your-own-device policy have little to with cost and everything…