Education: Children need teachers, not technology

In our age of increasing technology, some schools are choosing computers over teachers. This may work for some children, but my experience tells me different. Most children need a teacher, a significant caring adult who connects with them on a gut level. Children need a teacher who will understand their struggles, inspire and empower them.

Being a highly qualified instructor also mean teaching the same concepts in several different ways to increase comprehension. Kingman Unified School District understands this universal need, but not all schools do.

Kingman Academy High School has adopted an online math program called E20/20. The program teaches by video, with assignments and tests. Instead of a typical math classroom, there are 80 students in a big room paired with 80 computers. Students are supervised by a handful of adults, not all highly qualified in math, to answer questions that arise. There is no time limit on finishing a math course and if students fail a section, they may go back and review the same video and concepts.

Being familiar with the E20/20 program, I know the videos are sometimes tedious and far from interactive. E20/20 is also program that can easily be compromised by individuals seeking a shortcut.

Many ex-KAHS students as well as current ones have told me how difficult it is to understand math concepts taught by computer, let alone in a class of 80. A class of this size would be challenging even in a high interest subject area, such as computer gaming.

Kingman Academy High School needs to re-think their math instructional strategy to better meet the needs of their most precious resource.