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Education technology has changed the way we think, communicate, and share knowledge across the world. Learning opportunities and access to information are unparalleled to ten years ago. Technology changes rapidly in every field and some people believe we can replace teachers with computers.
Can we replace teachers with computers?
Well, I dont think so.
A teacher can adapt to the students individually. First, they can perform a variety of services that computers don’t. They understand their students as emotional beings and a personality of their own. A teacher is also constantly assessing the extent to which individuals in class are understanding the topic being taught. Computer technology eliminates the need for tedious printing and distribution of assignments and can ease the correction load of teachers. But the fact is that assessment is not only based on assignments but also on class discussions and project work. Again, technology comes in as an aid but can never replace the teacher in class. Computers cannot create a culture of excellence and push students to meet high expectations.
Technology is a tool, not a silver bullet. And like all tools, it can be helpful or harmful depending on how we use them. A good teacher is watching the students as she teaches. She can recognize puzzled or glazed expressions on the students’ faces, and knows that she needs to slow down or try another explanation. Humans can recognize this in milliseconds and make effective course corrections. Computers, well we are not there yet.
If an individual learns from a computer, there will be no obligation upon him or her to understand the subject matter seriously. That person will leave the learning for the future and that future will never arrive. We are all well aware of the fact that until and unless we are given a deadline to complete a task we seldom try to complete it. Not everyone is bright and witty, and there are always some students who need special care and attention. Teachers can help students become relational beings who live in community. Computers can’t help with that kind of feedback or encouragement. A computer can’t help a student develop character or problem-solving skills in the same way a teacher can. You can’t replace emotions, inspiration and motivation by machines.
A classroom also provides a social environment in which the students collaborate, learn to respect diverse opinions and compete with one another. It’s a microcosm of the outside world. A teacher, as the most experienced human in that setting and as someone who understands child psychology, can coach the students to grow into good adult citizens.
Computers are essential for 21st-century skills, and they should play a role in your life, as a trusted tool or resource. Technology is constantly changing our world; it opens doors to a global society, and provides various learning tools to those who need it. However, technology should be an addition, not a replacement for teachers. How can a computer replace such amazing relationships that grow and affect lives during the most formative years?
The point is … they simply cannot.