Teachers Vs Technology
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We should embrace technology when it serves its purpose, but not treat as a replacement for teachers. Computerized tests may be better at accurately assessing which reading skills my student needs to focus on, but a computerized test will not know why that student has not mastered that skill. It can dictate a learning program fit to fix that gap, or to propel them forward, but hitting rewind and watching it over and over will not always guarantee that a student masters a concept. So when we let videos be the only teaching tool for a child, or a computer program, then we stop figuring out why that child is not understanding. We lose that human connection that teachers provide Computers cannot create a culture of excellence and push students to meet high expectations. Computers cannot visit students’ homes to get to know their families and engage them in their progress. Technology is a tool.
Children growing up in poverty need all the support and nurturing from adults that they can get. If we want a real revolution in education, we should make an all-out effort to attract and keep our best people in our schools. Technology can be a powerful force in that effort when guided by leaders who understand what students and teachers need to do their best. We can’t outsource the human connections at the heart of the learning experience. Transforming the lives and learning of our children will take more than machines. It will take the best of our human resources. Good teachers inspire our young people to be lifelong learners, creating a culture of independent enquiry with their enthusiasm and passion. I know this because I see it every day. Good teachers have the skills to know exactly how to get the best out of each and every young person in their care: The role of the technology was to deliver lessons to students, just as trucks deliver groceries to supermarkets (Clark, 1983). If you deliver groceries, people will eat. If you deliver instruction, students will learn. Not necessarily! Teaching is not a profession, it is a dedication. A dedication to dissipate knowledge.