The founders of Yeshivat He’Atid (see related story page 12) may think they are creating an educational utopia, but the description of their cost saving and “revolutionary” educational model seems to be lifted from the pages of a dystopian novel. Computers in the classroom are simply tools. On their own, they cannot provide our children with critical thinking skills. Only live teachers can do that, and I say this as a teacher who uses technology in the classroom on a regular basis. The truth is, the best learning in my classroom takes place without any technology, at all, when I tell them to close their laptops and look at a Shakespearean sonnet. No surfing to find out what someone else said the sonnet means.
Our struggling yeshivot need strong community financial support at this time, not competition that will further dilute that support. I do not begrudge anyone for trying to find a low-cost alternative, but a school that is going to save money with a flawed educational model is not the answer.