Seems that some people are finally figuring it out. From the NYT of all places:
Economists are trying to measure a home computer’s educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts
When I got my first computer as a kid (queue up early 80s background music, see a 12-year old kid in front of a now-ancient Commodore Pet), I actually used it to program. I taught myself BASIC. I learned if-then statements and for-loops. I wrote my own games. It eventually led me down the path of electrical engineering ("Hey, computers are interesting, maybe I should go into that?").
Today's computers can be beneficial to learning - just like television can be - but most people won't take advantage of it and instead will be sucked into the mindless entertainment side.