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The True Cost of Replacing Teachers with Computers

Posted On : 2017-02-15 15:19:07
With several schools worldwide struggling to make ends meet while trying to comply with the demands of a highly technological education, many teachers are being replaced by computers.
The argument is that they can offer a more flexible and universal learning environmental for students compared to what is given by teachers in their classroom. Plus, it is also discussed if any teacher has the skills and is truly ready to deal with a multicultural and fast-paced society that needs to learn new things every day just to see them become obsolete a few months later.
But, can really computers achieve these goals by themselves? And will students be truly happy without the presence and supervision of a teacher in their classrooms?

How a computer-centred learning system can be better for students

It is understandable if one believes that the current generation of students is ready for online and self-learning. They were born with mobiles in their hands, and they are becoming millionaires at very early age.
There is also a common acceptation that if you focus on learning something in your own way, you will do it faster and more efficiently. On the other hand, a classroom-based education tends to bore those who can improve quicker and hardly truly support those in need of extra help.

And how it can be bad

Still, it is important to understand why you go to school and colleges in the first place. These institutions are much more than a place to learn. They are also a space for human interaction. We go to school to make friends, and many of us have first fell in love there.
In this context, teachers play a crucial role as representing an authority and inspiration in class – something that students will take to the next level when they get their first job and start dealing with their first boss.
In other words, teachers function as role models (even when they are not very helpful) and are responsible for motivating their students – two factors that will be seriously missed by moving to a computer-centred education.

Not all students have computer and internet access

One important thing to consider is the gap that will grow between students who have access to the best schools, fully equipped with high-end computers and fast speed internet connection, and those attending schools without it.
Also, bear in mind that not all of them will have the same devices at home so they can check the best websites ranking during their research, elaborate their assignments, contact online writing agencies, like smart paper help, if and when they need one, and play online educational games.
It is all great in theory, but the reality out there is much different and unequal. And the consequence of it will be students leaving school unable to join the college they want for lack of skills.

What is the real goal?

Many people will say that the goal of replacing teachers will computers has nothing to do with benefiting the students. It is all about cutting costs. And if it is true, it also means that the so-called high quality of computer-centred education will also suffer.
Creating and developing online games, tailored courses, accessible resources costs money and a lot of it. Keeping them up-to-date, plus new equipment from time to time (and plus its maintenance), means a bit more leaving the schools budget every year. So to get it right, it won’t be as cheap as one might think.

Teachers need to improve their skills

No one is going to say that the educational system is good as it is. Students are getting more and more demotivated to participate in classes and exams where memory is more important than critical thinking.
On the other hand, many teachers are making none to the very little effort so to improve their skills and understand the needs of this new generation of students (and of their future colleges and workplaces).
So it has become mandatory that teachers spend some time making a self-evaluation and trying to identify ways to make the most of what technology can give to them. Grading by computer is not a big deal anymore, and it can be part of a broader system without limiting it, for instance.

The bottom line

Much more important than discussing who is right and who is wrong, it is high time that teachers consider the topic as a priority, and stop blaming students of the government for what is happening.
The educational system must change for the good of all parts involved. But the role of the teachers should be revised and adapted to the new scenario, instead of eliminated. However, it will only happen if teachers start proposing more efficient ways to transmit knowledge, one that sees technology as their best weapon, not an enemy.

Article posted by:
Luisa Brenton
Education Volunteers/ professionals/ Others

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