Asimov was from a wealthy, white, secular Jewish background, and obtained prominence through work in east-coast biochemistry during the Great Chemical War. He was the old kind of tenured academic that justifies modern working class outrage against universities: though he did not teach, research, or even show up at campus very often, he drew a large paycheck and got benefits because he had tenure, and was considered brilliant because of his degree and social circle. The trajectory of his life matches the grossly egregious way that "universities" and "ivory tower academics" purloined public resources while not accomplishing anything except being haughty, giving interviews, and grooming a dozen choice family-friend students over the course of a lengthy career of receiving awards and being honored for vague association with a lab where lesser men conducted experiments--and occasionally (and most memorably, for Asimov) writing speculative fiction for sale through elite entertainment corporations.
In The Fun They Had, Asimov takes a shot at K-12 pedagogy. Although Asimov's stuttering, pointless non-career on the academic dole is meretricious enough to deserve its own set of exposé books from university insiders challenging diploma mills, tenure flaws, and administrative bloat, his stories themselves are just as interesting. To modern American speculative fiction, Asimov is as foundation-al (sic) as you can get; he was an integral part of laying the groundwork for:
(1) Modern narrative adulation of military technology;
(2) Bodiless, history-less, detached lala takes on the real world; stories where the past is vacuous, and elite narratives on how human history should have been replace the experiences or evidence of actual human beings, texts, and remains;
(3) Scientific and nationalistic jingoism; the selfish, destructive, scientistic pursuit of technology;
(4) Pairing technical people's scientific discoveries/theories with creative people's imaginative creations, then using token university credentials and publisher access to gain "creator" fame for the cobbled-together end result that bears your name;
(5) Disguising a complete and utter lack of prosaic skill by crafting "stories" consisting of nothing but the narrator telling you exactly what the world of the future is like, who the characters are, what they're all thinking, and what their problems and solutions are.
The Fun They Had's staggeringly ignorant take on education is its own fatal flaw, and from a literary perspective, it is written like the rest of Asimov's banal prose, reciting occurrences in the manner of a history book, rather than an actual narrative. (The similarity is not coincidental: it is by elites attempting to create false historical images that so many bad stories are created in the drab fashion of a high school textbook's description of Hitler's rise to power.) At a higher level of analysis, the short story is such a valuable resource because it demonstrates an early form of the psychocryptic take on reality, perception, and resistance offered by elites for popular consumption.
In Asimov's story, Margie is presented with an old (physical) book found by her friend Tommy. She writes about it in her diary, to which we are privy, then launches into a discussion of the merits of real books compared to those of "telebooks," the kind which she now has to use in school. She reflects on how much she hates school, and hates her robotic teacher, and on how a repairman had to come to the house to fix the robotic teacher, and how she turns in her assignments in a slot in the front of the robotic teacher, and many other details of interacting with the robot.
The offense against literature there is that years of Margie's experience is condensed into a single-serving pill, then thrust into the reader's face. In third-person omniscient, we know the main character's thoughts; how likely is it, though, that Margie would actually actively reflect on all of those things in that short of a period of time? Margie is familiar with the robotic teacher, and has been for years. The way Asimov shoves information onto the page would be akin to a modern day character staring at his tablet and thinking:
Steve stared at his iPad. The screen was showing him letters. He stared at the screen and thought about how it connected to the wireless network in his house, and how that wireless network was connected to a much larger network held together by the cable company. He didn't like the cable company but he had to put up with them to have the wireless network. The cable company was based in a nearby city and they had large warehouses, one of which he had once visited on a day when he had worn his blue coveralls, the only clothes that workers were now supposed to wear ever since his boss had come up with a new dress code a few years ago before his mother had died of ovarian cancer. He thought about the aluminum and plastic in his iPad and how both had been made in a factory far away by large companies that designed plastic and aluminum shapes to use for different kinds of products other than iPads...
E.g., not a realistic train of thought, however informative such a train of thought might have been to a medieval reader unfamiliar with wireless networks and Apple factories. In order for the reader to become properly familiar with the robotic teacher, we would've had to spend more time with Margie, allowing the traits of the robotic teacher to come out at a realistic pace. During that process, we'd really get to know Margie and Margie's world--something that the authority-based narrators of bad storytelling do not like to foster, nor tend to have the narrative skill to accomplish. Ergo it gets info-dumped right away, so that Asimov can make the point he really wants to make without having to worry about characters, plot, setting, syntax, etc.
The psychocryptic seed planted by the story is the truly insidious gem, and the main theme of many of Asimov's tales: Margie's ruminations on the robotic teacher lead to Tommy informing her that, in the old days, school was better because the teacher was a real person (a man, nach), and all the students learned together in one room. At the conclusion of The Fun They Had, Margie concludes that students of the past had such great fun because of those factors; because they learned together rather than from individual robot teachers.
Margie's ignorance achieves the true end, here. In Asimov's world, Margie is the everyday, conformist citizen, and Tommy is the rebel. When Margie learns a fact about the past (the way school was in the past) she encounters this fact as an intellectual virgin, learning it in complete isolation from other things she knows about the past, things she hopes for the future, or her own understanding of the present and her everyday life. The power of the fact about the past is able to instantly grip, move, and motivate her, such that by the end of a two page story, she's already dreaming about what fun the children of the past had, and how wonderful it would have been to go to school in that way.
See the genius of what Asimov did, yet? The secret message conveyed by his story is that: "If a different way of doing something is better, then people will respond to it as soon as they learn about it." It is the ultimate encouragement of naïveté; it is a retelling of Oceania where every single prole rebels against Big Brother as soon as Winston says, "In the past, people could choose what job they wanted for themselves." By sending this message with his story, Asimov reinforces authority, because if people haven't overthrown established authority, that proves that there are no better ideas out there.
Of course, that claim is wrong. If you go up to a person on the street and say, "In the past, Presidents did not assassinate people with robotic drones," or, "In the future, we can achieve a world where every person has enough clean food to eat," the person merely shrugs and moves on. Unlike Margie confronted by Tommy's depiction of earlier scholastic environments, real people come pre-loaded with objections to controversial material. Real people take more than "good ideas" to be motivated--in fact, the elite stranglehold on the dissemination of mass information, and the establishment of powerful cultural mores (in no small part through tools like Asimov), is the very thing that prevents simple "good ideas" or "stories of old" from moving them to wishing for, or enacting, change.
A real Margie would have been raised, not on ignorance of the past, but in opposition to it. A real Margie would've, for example, responded to Tommy's description of schoolchildren of old with, "Yes, they had real teachers, but the teachers hit children with rulers, and the children bullied and shamed one another, and the schoolrooms were overcrowded, and students never got individualized attention, and teachers weren't paid enough so they didn't care about their job, and the real teachers didn't know many things that they should've been teaching children; well, the robot teacher knows everything, is completely motivated, and always gives me individual attention." A real, good-character Margie might've had a real discussion with Tommy about the mistakes of the past. They might've investigated the history of western pedagogy, and discovered that, contrary to what they'd been spoon-fed about teachers of earlier eras, many of the elements of human interaction were valuable to students--even though many of the rumors were based on truth, and true in many times and places in the past.
The vacuous, detached Margie is a farce of a real person, and of a real society. Asimov's work, and that of countless others like him, have prepped western citizen-audiences to be just that naive: Americans believe themselves informed while not actually being so, because they've been told by cultural narratives like The Fun They Had that, if they ever had heard a better idea, they would have voted for it. Because they have a robot teacher now, it must be the best of all possible worlds. "Democracy," they say, "is a terrible system of government, but it's the best one we have." And they feel the same way about capitalism, drone murder, resource wars, Transformers movies, and Senate confirmation hearings--they honestly believe that if they were presented with something better, they would choose it.
...and they would choose it, if they knew how to recognize it. But, like a real Margie, that sort of thing takes time, and it has to begin in the most fundamental battleground: the fictional realm. The work of cultural narrators is of such great significance because it deadens the ability to perceive. People unable to recognize good stories in the fictional realm cannot recognize them in the physical, ergo choose your own State of the Union. When a "Tommy" comes to an American and says, "Something is wrong with your world," they respond not with curiosity, but with preplanned outrage at someone trotting out that tired old trope about how immoral it is to kill Arabs, even though everyone knows it is a regrettable but necessary consequence of realpolitik in the world of scarcity in which we live.
Asimov's brilliance is in indirectly stroking the American ego; is in saying, "You are better informed than Margie." His take on the fun, pleasant 1940s mandatory public school system is, of course, an ignorant, pigheaded travesty--the robotic teacher's blandness might be preferable to the real thing. Like Gene Roddenberry, Asimov wrote descriptions of the future that made his present--and his preferred rulers and institutions--look like bastions of advanced kindness and tolerance as they beat children, dropped nuclear bombs, ghettoed blacks, and Cold Warred the world toward oblivion while blaming it on the Russians.