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Will computers replace teachers in the classroom? [Letter]

I don't know if it was poor reporting by The Sun or poor accounting by Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance, but in an article about technology in schools you recently wrote that Mr. Dance would "pay for the computers in part by evaluating whether central office employees who leave the school system should be replaced" ("Baltimore County school board OKs $205 million technology contract," March 11).

I'm not a bookkeeper, but I can't recall when the act of evaluating ever helped pay for anything. What are some areas in which BCPS can actually cut expenses by providing students with laptops or tablets?

All textbooks could be online. The majority of handouts could be accessed by students on their computers, and tests and quizzes could be administered via the computers, thus reducing the amount of paper use.

In the big picture, individualized instruction could be facilitated online. Snow days could cease to exist. They would become home-learning days.

Providing computers to all students could be the first step in a move to shift more education to distance learning. That is where the real cost-cutting can be done.

With more education being provided via computer, there will be less need for teachers. At the post office as more and more mail began to be delivered through the Internet, there was less and less need for postal employees. Same with schools.

I am not saying that providing more instruction via computers, and consequently cutting teachers, is a good idea. I just see it as inevitable.

Paul Leroy, Bel Air

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