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While computers and technology are amazing tools, people are still the only way to reach students in any classroom setting. Can a computer answer a question with valuable life experience behind it? Can a machine show empathy for a child's situation? Can a computer show up and cheer at the school's soccer game and talk about it the next day with the students who played in the game? Of course not. No matter how advanced technology becomes, it can never replace the most basic of human needs, the need to feel important and respected. One of the best parts of teaching is building the relationships with the students. Without mutual trust, they will not care to learn. We are the ultimate motivators, and we must never lose site of the fact that it is our compassion and dedication that that students will realate too, not our knowledge. No computer can provide this.
Taking the human factor out of teaching is like taking the soul out of a person. There might be a living organism left, but one would hardly call it human. That said, there is no doubt that technology will and should continue to pervade our educational environment. As teachers it is our duty to prepare students for the future. This fact excludes us from maintaining a conservative philosophy, else wise we risk doing a disservice to our students. If we are unwilling to change the way we teach then indeed we may become obsolete. Darwin once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change". As teachers we should view technology as a mechanism to propel ourselves and our students into the future. We must embrace the changes and learn how we can adapt and work with technology, incorporating it in the best way we can as both a delivery tool as well as a product to allow our students to display knowledge.
Consider this question: Which teacher is the most effective: 1) The teacher that stands in front of the desk. 2) The teacher that stands behind the desk. 3) The teacher that stands on top of the desk. So what is your vote? Now lets stop and think about student learning..... Do all students learn the same way? The answer is NO. We know that people are different and they approach the learning process from many different angles. If we could match the teaching to the learning style of the learner we would achieve the greatest gains. The best teacher is actually the teacher that does all three in the question above, because the students vary so much in our classrooms. I believe that sage on the stage teaching will be replaced with guide by the side teaching. I have done that in my public school pre-engineering classes that often average over 30 students per class! Technology helps me individualize the curriculum and better match the learning style of the student. We have over 20 hours of college transfer credits accross curriculums in Electronics, Architecture, Drafting and Design/CAD/CAM/CNC/RP, and Robotics.
Hi, I just wanted to say that I share your views and couldn't agree with you more. There are many people today (younger people mostly) who believe that the classroom setting is obsolete and technology is the answer. While I agree that incorporating it would somehow be beneficial, I don't agree with the notion of it replacing the instructor. Learning how to speak in public, writing your thoughts in an organized manner with a central thesis, and even reading comprehension can't be "googled" or "wikied." And these are skills that I believe are essential in whatever field of work one might pursue.
If you have time, please watch this YouTube video as it attempts to show how students learn today in the college setting. I am interested in what people's opinions like yours would take out of this. I have a BS in BioChemistry but I am going back to pursue a degree in Health Science. I certainly do not feel any sympathy for the kids in this video. What's your take?
Here's the link:
Thanks for your time.
Great points. I wonder, however what our goal is - to follow the path of greatest achievement or to keep our jobs as educators. I imagine it's a bit if both. I would hope that we, as educators would see that our goal now of becoming facilitators might someday grow into a much different learning environment. Maybe? In 100 years?
I'm a parent with children thriving in virtual public schools.
Here's my take on this poll: http://blogs.jsonline.com/Fernandez/
Actually I am more concerned that many teachers attitudes to change, both technological and pedagogical, are making their students obsolete.
The levels of disengagement from school I see from my son and his friends is frightening, as is the apparent dumbing down and anti-creativity that his school promotes without realising it - that is, the pedagogical practices in that school and all the others in this area seem deeply embedded, resistant to any reflective thinking or technological change.
While technology may change the delivery methods of instruction, a teacher will still need to be involved in the education of students. Take online courses, for example... While the course content is delivered entirely online, a real person needs to be there to mediate and moderate discussions and grade assignments.
forgot about it.
The biggest problem I see with advancements in technology is the aversion to change that many teachers have. We should always be looking at what we can do next to improve our instruction. Technology is a tool that will allow us to move into whole new areas that were never before attainable in the K-12 environment. We will finally be able to advance education again!