Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Computer eliminates teachers

11 students at Christ Centered School learning at their own pace

By Valerie Christopher
Enquirer contributor

HARRISON - As the school year draws to an end, a bold experiment at a tiny Christian school here has convinced its principal to make it a permanent fixture.

Christ Centered School discovered an alternative to teachers for some of its small classrooms last fall when it placed 11 of its 79 students on a computer-based curriculum. Christ Centered is one of two non-public schools in Ohio and 21 in the United States to use fully computerized lesson plans.

"It takes roughly 10 to 12 students per classroom to pay an average teacher's compensation," said Jerry Goodbar, the principal. "With only 11 students representing the entire fourth through ninth grade (at Christ Centered), this was a great opportunity for students to work on their core subjects and be tested and graded by the computer. It's like a big old lesson plan, except they're getting it from a computer."

Goodbar was referring to Switched-On Schoolhouse Network, a software program designed by Alpha Omega Publications (AOP). The Chandler, Ariz.-based company has been a provider of Christian education material since 1977.

AOP provides Christian schools with curricula from three different programs:

• Horizons, for the conventional classroom teacher looking for a workbook-style curriculum.

• Switched-On Schoolhouse, a 3-12 grade level CD-Rom providing a combination of traditional learning and computerized education.

• Lifepac, a complete work text format curriculum for students in grades K-12.

Get information about Alpha Omega Publications at www.aop.com.
Eighth-grader Jonathon Hodge, 15, who has attended public schools and been home-schooled in the past, said his second year at Christ Centered has been "heaven."

"I never liked listening to teachers lecture a long time and this system enables me to work ahead and not have to let others slow me down."

Jonathon finished eighth-grade level work in April and is now working on ninth-grade math, history, science and language arts.

The system has changed the face of learning for students and faculty. "Before Switched-On Schoolhouse, I would have as much homework as the kids," said Tom Brane, who is in his second year teaching at Christ Centered. "With this curriculum, I don't have to worry about being too busy to go around and help.''

Goodbar said diagnostic testing takes place at the beginning and end of the school year to determine grade levels for each student.

E-mail valerie_christop@hotmail.com

Cracks showing in boycott movement
Animal deaths lead to dispute
Parade crowd demonstrates support
Schools adjust as food allergies rise
Peanut allergy drug might help others

Computer eliminates teachers
Greenhills slaying 1st since '63
Autism training center to open
Billboards against street violence

Alarm sounded over health care
Classical school has its first graduates
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Run/walk volunteers are needed
Obituary: David N. Tipton, major developer
Obituary: Raymond Johnson was Springdale mayor

Schools to weigh in on annexation

Lebanon schools honor citizens
Lebanon's longtime band teacher exits

Ohio Moments: Kings Island opens
Illegal immigrants live freely in Columbus

Boone forum to talk about growth
Lawmakers defend trailer buyers
WKU death has a safety ripple
Fort Campbell honors its own

Tristate remembers fallen heroes
Photo gallery
VA reaches out to homeless
Two schools on top 100 list
Drones may ease traffic
Party ends in fatal knifing
Ohio 48 work threatens Hidden Valley Farm
Radel: Chasing the last remnants of winter
Bronson: Drug thugs

Springer tests populist appeal
Veterans' care squeezed by VA
Fallen Ky. officer remembered
City revels in holiday fun
Police build case against twins

History preserved - by the people who made it
Library joins project to share interviews with war veterans
Alumni are solidly behind Elder
Bellevue creates 'adult' zone