Is it a Bad Idea to Replace Classrooms and Teachers with Digital Learning? - Granite Grok

Is it a Bad Idea to Replace Classrooms and Teachers with Digital Learning?


For several years, those of us who research public education noticed the push for placing children in front of a screen to do the work of the teacher. We’ve seen it with the push for 1:1 devices. And yet Silicon Valley techies have done the opposite.

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They understood the importance of children picking up a good book and reading it. They sent their kids to tech-free schools.

While Technology can play an important role in public education, there has been an agenda to remove the teachers from the classroom and replace them with digital learning. This is a big profit maker for the tech industry, but it brings a long list of other issues.

1) Students are still taught the dumbed-down Common Core/Next Generation Science standards, so there is no improvement in the online program.
2) More data mining on the child that will be used to track them to college or career based on what the central planners/state needs. (NOTE: not the needs of your child)
3) Your child will lose a precious gift, the direct instruction from a highly qualified teacher if your child was fortunate to have one.
4) Way too much screen time.
5) Online learning can expose children to human traffickers.
6) Online learning can and is a good alternative for children who need it. For those who don’t, they need human interaction with the teacher and other children.

Above all else, this reform push was a way to eliminate teachers from the classroom. While there are always bad apples in the mix, many teachers go into this profession for the love of teaching your kids. If the teacher is well educated in the academic content, they can bring additional information to a discussion and add to a wonderful educational experience. Remember those favorite teachers and how they brought the subject to life?

A top-down approach now controls public schools. Education reformers have tied the hands of good teachers. Teachers have been handed a script and, they’ve been forced to dumb down their classes.

While some teachers have done themselves a real disservice by bringing radical political agendas into their classroom, the recipe for success for all children is a highly qualified and educated teacher, using quality materials in the classroom. Add some excellent characteristics that make them a fantastic instructor and, you’ve put your child in the best position possible.

The real damage began when states and local schools adopted the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. That damage should be the focus of reversal by everyone involved in public education. Unfortunately, the next step by reformers is to remove the teachers and replace them with computers. This approach blew up in Texas when they tried this approach several years ago. Good teachers started reporting an influx of objectionable and political bias coming through the computer programs. Those who think this approach will curb that kind of influence haven’t researched this issue.

COVID-19 set the platform for online learning, but now we know that at least half of the children are struggling. One would think that teachers and parents would want to get kids back in school and hopefully address some of the problems that continue to plague the public schools.

Now I hear about the push-back from some teachers on going back to school to teach. I’m sure most teachers understand the importance of getting back in the classroom, but many may find out that their jobs have changed, as we all warned about many years ago.

In Ohio, parents for local control recently discovered a document put out by the Ohio Department of Education. It’s called Reset and Restart education. As you can see from the screen-shot below, Mary Capella is warning everyone about how this plan calls for replacing teachers and using computers as the tool for learning. She talks about how “individuals without teaching credentials will take over & most students will follow an online program from home indefinitely.” I guess the good news is, at least parents will have the opportunity to review what their children are learning online—those who do need to keep a close eye on this.

Schools will house the students who need supervision, but the academics will be lacking anything of real quality. As Mary points out, “since schools take the state funding which comes along with mandates, then what’s the need for teachers? Anyone can follow a program and facilitate it with no academics involved.” Remember, the shift to the Competency-Based Education model was a paradigm shift away from academics in favor of empty and dumbed-down workforce skills. Those skills include Social and Emotional Competencies, which are now graded and included in your child’s psychological profile kept at your local school district.

If you still want an excellent education for your child that is challenging and includes human interaction, it’s an excellent time to take a look at the Catholic Schools in New Hampshire.  They recently offered a substantial discount on tuition for students who transfer to their schools. If a child comes from a low-income family, there is also assistance through the Children’s Scholarship Fund. Catholic school administrators are always working to improve the quality of the standards, curriculum, and testing. They hire teachers who want to teach and love their job. Teachers are treated as professionals and, you don’t have to worry about radical political agendas being forced on your children. The focus is to set them up for success, unlike the goals of education reformers, to set public schools up for failure.

Parents have choices. There are ways to improve the academics your child can learn.

If public school teachers and administrators go along with this next round of reforms that further destroy public schools and the teaching profession, then shame on them for not speaking up. When parents have the opportunity to provide something better for their kids, many will take it. If you provide a child with the best education available with the best teachers in the classroom, you can recoup the damage done by national education reformers. In the meantime, parents need to do what’s best for their child NOW.

Mary capella