Not long ago, when the first human robot was built there was a genius prediction by some guy that robots will overtake the earth. A wave of movies, documentaries, posters etc. were published. Thanks to them we now know that machines can never replace
humans, their feelings, etc. But then, the thought strikes,
“Why is there this debate over Edtech and its utility in classrooms?”
Teacher is not only the educationist but also a facilitator, a role model, a counsellor and most importantly, a friend. But it is increasingly being found that the motivation level of teachers is going down due to high student-teacher ratio and such other issues and this is the point where role of technology comes into picture. Thus flying off the balloon for a one more discussion point.
“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” ― Paulo Coelho.
Education is a largely personal matter. If we eliminate the teacher-student interaction completely, a part of the educational experience will be lost. It’s not just the act of standing before a class that makes a teacher a teacher, there’s the whole social experience of learning, working together, bouncing ideas off of one another, etc. One of the largest drawback of technology era is said to be loss in social contacts. However, with the rapid growth of new technologies, internet and self-dependent students, there may come a time when students don’t really need a teacher.
But then we forget that technology is a tool and as all good tools are, a very efficient method to simplify, organise and speed up the process of learning. The ability for the teacher to relate the information learned to the student’s life and their ability to understand the individual student are keys to educational success. It can never sustain independently because it is not designed to do so. A virtual world can never take the real server down.
Many teachers straightaway reject education technologies that divert their attention from instruction. The best education technologies enable teachers to do more with fewer resources in order to create a dynamic environment of teaching and learning in the classroom. Communication platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr enable dynamic communication with students. Teacher-empowering technologies may include mobile apps that grade student work and provide lesson plan databases.
Many Edtech products use Open-source technologies which contrary to the beliefs are stable, secure, and compatible with other platforms. Many businesses use open-source servers for their efficiency and costs savings. Best of all, open-source technologies often cost less than proprietary products.
Online portfolios cost less and allow for more robust outreach. They are also amenable to a wider variety of formats including video, music or other interactive features. Thus, enabling a teacher’s work as a right hand. teachers decide which technologies to be used, that are inexpensive, easy to use, and improve student learning.
According to the results of the eighth annual survey by PBS and Grunwald Associates incorporating interactive games, activities, lesson plans, and simulations into the classroom. 62% percent of teachers say they use digital media twice a week or more and 24 percent say they use it every day to help them teach. The numbers of teachers using TV and video content in the classroom is even higher. Over 80 percent of teachers say they use TV or video to teach a lesson at least once a month and 76 percent are streaming it from the web.
Every tool has its own disadvantages and Edtech is not at all aloof from that.
As, if the teacher wants to show a video, they are much more likely to use a short video clip, which means no more students snoozing during a 30-minute film. Too many teachers experience technical difficulties because of internet bandwidth problems on campus, and budgets are being cut for buying new hardware.
If there is a need for a class blog/forum then students may use it more for social media and other personal storage stuffs rather than utilising it. But, proper control and rain-checking with quizzes and presentations can really boost up the learning. In fact, the teachers find that these methods under the shoulder of a responsible teacher can stimulate student discussions, increase student motivation, and help students and teachers be more creative.
Models and simulations, beyond being a powerful tool for teaching concepts, can also give teachers a much richer picture of how students understand them. If an online video conferencing needs to be done then, students may not show up entirely and skip the lesson. The simple remedy to this would be, a surprise quiz at the end or better cookies after the show!!!
“Technology won’t replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will probably replace teachers who don’t“.