Books Matter if You Want a Real Life
I Don't Want to do it Myself: Teaching Writing with a Worksheet

Why would someone that is a true reading specialist with years of experience trot out all of these computer based learning programs that are basically ineffective and a waste of time? If a district has talent at the top, then why would it resort to this kind of instruction? Sure, I agree that a bit of this computer based reading and analyzing is okay, but to make students spend hours upon hours gazing at a screen, and then complaining at teachers for not making kids gaze at this screen for hours upon hours, seems like the height of educational malpractice. Instead of providing instruction and creating meaningful lesson plans, these teachers are basically sitting at their desks doing nothing, or walking around the classroom trying to make sure that these kids are on the right website. How is this going to improve social skills, reading fluency, an appreciation for literature, or basic speaking and listening communication? Why are these kids not reading great stories and poems and sharing them in the classroom? Why are these kids not writing in the classroom for a variety of purposes? Obviously, the people that promote these kinds of programs are in it for the profits, and they could care less about teachers and kids. But it seems sad that an entire district would decide that it has such contempt for its English department that it would try to diminish its capacity for creativity and instruction by replacing it with a Chromebook. I have only met a small handful of teachers that I thought wouldn't improve with professional development and support. It must be easier and cheaper to support a computer...I wonder what kind of message this sends our kids...
But more importantly, what is all this screen time doing to the brain? I've been reading about kids spending hours a day on a computer at school, and I have seen some of this in action. This doesn't count after school hours that kids spend on phones or other devices at home. In light of the research and the unanswered questions, I would say that making students sit in front of a computer for hours on end is irresponsible and cruel. Parents should begin to ask districts how many hours a day their child is sitting in front of a computer. The answer might be shocking.

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