Why Johnny Can't...|
1997 September 12|
Typing is a skill that is necessary when using computers. At this point, typing is one of the few things for which computers are widely used as teachers. If my experience with "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" is any indication, there is a lot to be learned about educational software.
That doesn't alter the fact that some subjects can probably be taught very effectively by computer. Other subjects should be taught by human teachers, particularly subjects that have a lot to do with human values. (No, we're not going to be able to escape the value question in education. It's built in.)
Once we teach computers how to teach individual students a wide variety of subjects at a rate that's geared to each student's abilities, we will have come a long way. The smart kids will be literally years ahead of the dumb kids. The smart kids won't be bored and the dumb kids won't be frustrated. And since all the kids will be studying mainly subjects which are for that kid highly inflammable, all the kids will be learning a lot more than they are now. We can't achieve this any other way except to have a one-teacher/one-student ratio.