AP070321020219In Florida and Utah, education officials have embraced the controversial cost-cutting measure of putting students in digital classrooms.
The move has caused anxiety among teachers and some parents, who are quite reasonably skeptical that a laptop can really replace a teacher. At a recent hearing over Idaho superintendent Tom Luna's plan to require two online courses per year for high schoolers, participant Pat Bollar said the classes would "demean" teachers. Sherri Wood, the president of Idaho's teachers union, told Citydesk, "I don't see how giving a computer to a child can be better than the one-on-one attention that so many of them need."
And indeed, the specter of an all-digital education invites the image of a classroom full of latchkey students staring into glowing monitors full of pages and pages of teeny text they are expected to read and understand without any outside help. (A largely unsupervised classroom could also readily degenerate into a "Lord of the Flies"-style of anarchy, with kids ignoring their computer-mandated lessons in favor of general mayhem. If that scenario sounds implausible, well, just talk to a substitute teacher sometime.)Read More »from Cash-strapped states consider virtual classes, despite lack of research