For years we have been told that computers or even robots will soon be teaching children. We would no longer have to worry about the shortage of teachers. Lisa Johnson, CEO of Mathtopian Preparation Inc., points out that for now this is not the case.
“Before COVID-19, there was talk of robots and computers taking over for teachers. However, during the quarantine parents learned that teaching is hard work. There might even be a little magic happening in the classroom. Parents quickly discovered that they are actually not capable of teaching their 1st grader how to read, and they have no idea how to teach their 4th grader multiplication tables using the strange Common Core methods,” states Johnson.
In fact, most urban school districts reported that 20-30 percent of students never logged on to online school during the pandemic quarantine.
Teens definitively think online learning is worse than in-person learning. Common Sense Media’s 2020 survey of teens reports that “A majority of teens (59%) say that online learning is worse than in-person schooling, with 19% characterizing it as much worse.”
With the return to school, focus on online lessons, online textbooks and online practice sites prevails. Johnson adds, “This is not the most efficient and effective way to provide content to students.”
Here is an example of what Johnson sees on a daily basis: A student spends 5 minutes locating and gathering the instructions for their assignment. They must watch a video at a specific URL, but the link is not working. They search for the title in search engines and eventually find the correct link after 5 minutes. They must then go to another website to do practice problems. The student has (by some miracle) grasped the concept, but the tool used to plot the graph is buggy. It takes them another 5 minutes to figure how to use the tool to plot the graph. In all, the student spends 15 minutes just dealing with technology and they generally cannot navigate this process on their own.
This is when real people, educators like Johnson, come into the picture to help.A traditional textbook contains many practice problems with various degrees of difficulty. Everything – the examples, the practice problems and other essential resources – is in one place.
TeacherVision outlines the advantages of textbooks, “Textbooks are a detailed sequence of teaching procedures that tell you what to do and when to do it. There are no surprises—everything is carefully spelled out.”
Johnson adds, “In real life, the most straightforward approach is the best way to teach a student a difficult concept. First, break the concept into small pieces and feed it to them little by little. Then practice with the student. Then ask them to try it independently. Pay close attention to the student’s body language, facial expressions and tone to determine if they are understanding. There is no substitute for quality in-person teaching aligned to a textbook. Let’s spend less time and fewer resources trying to reinvent the wheel”
More information can be found at https://mathtopianprep.com/.
About Mathtopian Preparation Inc.
Mathtopian Preparation provides private tutoring, test prep and college counseling to students all over the world. Our focus is helping students to develop the fundamental academic and organizational skills as well as the self-discipline needed to be high achievers.