Teachers or Computers: Discussing the Issue
In the last couple of years, we have witnessed a lot of technological breakthroughs in all aspects of our lives. As a matter of fact, the field of education, too, has had its share of technological advancements. Basically, it is now pretty common to observe multi-media devices in most modern classrooms. And, in the last couple of years, classrooms now have become, quite literally, connected to the outside world.
It is without doubt that education has become incredibly better in the last couple of years. With the internet, and all the applications and technologies associated with it like the venerable cloud computing, education and educational institutions have become more and more efficient. For instance, cloud computing has made management and administration of institutions have become relatively easier. Not only that, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), a variant of cloud computing, is capable of simplifying the tasks of teachers and students in the accomplishment of the entire teaching and learning process. SaaS, indeed, is like a teacher online, and it is largely capable of providing a wide range of technological support to the learners.
Because of the apparent advantages provided by all these technological marvels, there has been a debate about whether computers are truly capable of replacing teachers as the prime movers in the classrooms. In other words, questions have arisen in order to highlight and expound the doubt on the efficiency of teachers. Are teachers as effective as the computers when it comes to educating learners? Is it high time to phase out teachers and totally replace them with fully automated computers? These are some of the questions that preoccupy the minds of educators and classroom managers alike.
Let us try to answer these questions. First of all, there is really no doubt that computers and the internet itself are powerful educational tools. According to The Journal, teaching in the 21st century is almost impossible without the use of the internet. Indeed, the internet is very much a part of our lives, and to teach independent from it is nothing more than an act of folly.
However, to say that classrooms can survive and prevail without a real living teacher is a very dubious statement. It might be true that the internet and all its resources are capable of providing infinite data and applications to the learners; it might even be true that internet applications can allow learners to actually be involved in real-life global processes – something that was not really possible before.
But, without teachers, learning about all these things is impossible. In the first place, the internet is an ocean of data and infinite information – information of all kinds. Young learners are, of course, largely incapable of learning all these raw data by themselves. They will end up learning the wrong things, and they may even fail to learn at all.
Teachers, real and genuine and breathing teachers must be there in order to teach students how to sift out the information, teachers must be there in order to identify good information from bad information.
Besides, history has continually proven that automated systems cannot really last long in the field of education. This is primarily because automated learning systems are actually dull and bland.
This is not to say that technology can be omitted, and neither is this saying that we can do the same with teachers. Basically, things are more effective if these two things come together. Learning is maximized if there are competent and dedicated teachers who are highly capable of utilizing advanced educational technologies to the fullest.
By Cenon Gaytos