We need the human connection for that, we need some form of a teacher to sit down and figure out what is happening in that child’s mind. To figure out how we keep them engaged and interested. How we keep them invested. A computer program will always analyze but forget about the human aspect. It will assess the problem from a deficit standpoint whereas lack of understanding may be as easy as lack of vocabulary or lack of sleep.
In high school, I failed math and I repeatedly asked my teacher for help to explain the concepts to me. She would explain it the same way she had explained it before and I finally stopped asking, it simply didn’t make sense to me no matter how many times she repeated it. Mind you this was before YouTube and vast internet communities, before Google, and Twitter. The only other place I could turn was the library. And yet we let tools that do nothing but repeat take so much value away from the job that we do every day as teacher. We have let the media portray it as the saviour of education.
A frightening future to me would be one where teachers are nonexistent or serve a secondary role to the almighty computer. Where students are greeted by machines from their own private spaces and curriculum is served through a computer program. Lunch is served by themselves and extracurricular activities are gone by the wayside. Drastic sure, but scary nonetheless. Teachers don’t just teach the curriculum; they process it, they analyze it knowing their students’ skills. They invest their time in it so that students will want to invest their own. They make it meaningful, relevant, and they make it fun. Technology can help with that, but it shouldn’t replace. Teachers do more than just teach; they shape, they mold, they model behavior, and they connect. Often that connection is worth more than any curriculum. Worth more than any computer program.
So the path of the future is our hands; we can show the way of how to use technology correctly as a tool to help propel us forward as practitioners or we can hide from it and lament its coming. Technology was never meant to replace teachers, but it slowly is, it is up to us whether we let it.