I agree with your editors about Baltimore County's plan to provide laptops or tablets to students ("Digital classrooms," Feb. 13). As a veteran Baltimore County teacher, I see the greatest improvements in student achievement coming from smaller classes, one-on-one tutoring, and having extra time with students. There is a need for technology, particularly, in some schools to aid in general instruction and allowing students to learn keyboarding and research skills for those 21st century needs. But many county schools don't even have sufficient computers and projection devices to deliver the new county curriculum. So as far as digital conversions go, that is a need.
But what is going to help our students the most is having well trained teachers who teach the appropriate number of students. Hiring and retaining these teachers should be the number one priority. Technology will never have the positive effects that a great teacher can provide for our kids. Speaking for myself and many of my colleagues, we came to this profession for the students. If the Baltimore County school board and superintendent would prioritize based on best practices, they would see that teachers, not technology are the key to quality education in any century.
Donna McDonough, Perry Hall
The writer is a teacher at Pine Grove Elementary School.-
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