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(By Chris Sharp) It doesn’t take much time in a high school classroom these days to see that there is something very new and therefore very odd going on.  In fact, for maybe up to half of the classroom time, the teacher is just sitting there, or standing there, or walking around the room and not teaching.  Meanwhile the students are engaged – it seems totally engaged – in their lesson on their computer screens, or sometimes something other than school work on their computer screens.  The prompts of their particular computer programs are the real teachers during these times.

This scenery actually jells with a similar picture I once saw when I was in the newspaper business.  This was when computers were starting to bring in copy editing skills to the newsroom that automatically located and corrected any spelling and grammatical error in newspaper hard copy. At that time, the newspaper copy editors who had done the job for so many years were acting much like teachers are looking today in the face of computerized education.  The copy editors were just sitting there, maybe half the day, not doing anything related to their profession.

Within about five years of this scenery, newspaper offices were sorted out by capitalist necessity and pretty soon everyone on the office floor was doing something professionally active again.  Even though schools are not as driven by capitalist necessity as are newspaper companies, I see it taking just a little bit longer than five years for schools to figure out what teachers can do while students are spending practically half the school day on their computers.

So I am predicting that the American teacher of the future will be working with new much upgraded computers to help him or her survey and intervene with the computer work of any student in his or her classroom. That is certainly not happening today. The best thing that teachers are doing today to control the computer business of their students is to put their teacher’s desk in the rear of the room to watch the student computer screens and make sure the kids are doing school work and not something nefarious on their screens.

Read more here: A Sharp View: The new U.S. teacher – High tech, very