Teachers Aren't Replaced by Technology; They're Augmented by It

In the following video, Ronald Packard, CEO and founder of K12, sits down with Motley Fool analyst Matt Argersinger and explains how his company complements traditional education.

A transcript follows the video.

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Matt Argersinger: So I have to believe that your business is tremendously scalable, so how disruptive is that to, say, teachers? I mean because, presumably, one of your curriculums, one teacher that you have can teach thousands of students versus your average teacher.

Ronald Packard: It's not quite that way, because there's a lot of elements that happen in a school that makes it harder to teach thousands. You can lecture to thousands, but can you grade a thousand history papers? Can you work with a thousand kids on their individual problems, mastering addition of fractions? So it's probably more leverageable, but it's not as leverageable when you actually get to the instructional part, the remediation part, the making sure you master. Can you really lead a discussion group with a thousand kids? And you can't, right? So it's more leverageable, but nowhere near.

I think our total company teaching ratio might be 30 to 33, so we have four or five thousand teachers. We have a lot of teachers at K12. They're the most important thing we have, and guess what else happened? It turns out that teachers have great relationships with students; those students learn more. They spend more time on task, they engage more, so the teachers are not replaced by technology; technology is the way of allowing teachers to be more effective, a little more efficient, but more effective.

And so really in a lot of ways, this is a teacher's best friend. We put our curriculum into classrooms, and we're seeing great results. The scores of the school go way up because teachers have interactive pieces, help them teach the exact right pedagogy for certain mathematics techniques, engage the kids more in a classroom. So in a lot of ways, teachers are not replaced by technology; they're augmented by it.


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