by Karen Topakian
Interested in new ways for your children to learn? Look no further: three new elementary schools will open in Noe Valley this September.
Hands Off Learning is based on the time-honored principle that children should look but not touch.
At Hands Off, students learn by watching teachers read, write, paint, sculpt, solve math equations, and exercise in the gym. Team sports, including touch football, will be played by teachers while students observe their actions.
Each teacher will be supplied with an iPad 4 with retina display, Google Glasses, a Leica microscope, a Celestron NextStar telescope, Swarovski binoculars and a puppy.
“We spent a lot of money outfitting this school with the latest gizmos,” said school principal Mario Nontocare. “We don’t want these kids breaking things.”
First-grade teacher Sin Manos believes that when children learn by doing they tend to share…germs. “Sharing leads to illness, disease, pestilence, epidemics, and possibly extinction,” he said.
At Hands Off, the only safe physical activity approved for children will be thumb twiddling.
Just Google It: This school, founded by Nikolai Gogol, is a favorite among tech-savvy parents and students.
At Just Google It, every child will sit in a hermetically sealed white room equipped with a state-of-the-art iPad programmed with Google’s latest search tool, Google Penguin. Upon arrival in the morning, each child will receive a list of questions to answer and problems to solve. They may only use Google to complete their assignments. Any child caught with a pencil or paper or who attempts to access Bing will be released in the wild without GPS.
“Eventually you will use Google for everything,” said teacher Al Gorhythm “Why not start now?”
Extreme DIY School: Parents and children who prefer to learn by doing will find a comfortable home at Extreme DIY School.
Youngsters will be required to build their own desks, write their own textbooks, sew their own school uniforms and grow their own food.
One of the founding parents credited her childhood DIY school with solving a dental problem—uneven front teeth. “I had to make my own chair. Without having the strength to operate a saw properly, I gnawed on the chair legs to make them even,” said Polly Dente, displaying her perfect incisors.
A co-founder also learned valuable skills at a DIY school. “In third grade, I told the teacher I couldn’t read the black- board. She told me I needed to report to shop class to grind the lenses for my own eyeglasses,” said Ms. Ne Pas Voir. “I’ve saved tons of money on eyewear ever since.”