Take any area of your life, and you will see the influence of technology. It is ingrained in our society in a way that living a life without it has become unthinkable. The same is true in the education sector, where the pandemic has accelerated the usage of technology. This has led to an increasing concern among parents, worrying that the devices will do their children more harm. That’s not totally true, but some instances can convince you otherwise.
On one hand, we have skeptics with their never-ending doubts, while on the other end, we have EdTech enthusiasts, optimistic about the role of technology in transforming the education sector. What is your take on this?
Having covered the brief overview of the discussion, it’s time we look at the comparison between technology and teachers thoroughly.
Technology vs Teachers: A Comparison Table
If you don’t have enough time to read the entire article, have a look at the following table that discusses the subject of technology vs teachers.
|With the advent of artificial intelligence, lessons can now be personalized to suit each learner’s pace and style. This can greatly enhance understanding and retention in students.
|Despite their best efforts, teachers may find it challenging to personalize learning for every student because of practical constraints like class size and limited time.
|Because of the internet, educational content is available round the clock. This allows to easily educate students no matter where they are from.
|Teachers are not robots. Being human, they cannot be available all the time. Their availability will be only during school hours.
|Emotionally resonating with learners can sometimes be a challenge for technology.
|Teachers excel in providing emotional support, motivation, and real-time feedback. Because they are human, they are capable of instilling a love for learning and can address individual emotional needs.
|Access to Information
|Online platforms have unlimited resources and information on any topic imaginable. This information can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from multiple sources.
|Although teachers are knowledgeable, they are not limitless reservoirs of information. But keep in mind that, they will be quicker in finding the specific answer to a student’s question.
|Technology can quickly adapt to new scientific findings, updates, and trends by incorporating them into the learning process almost immediately.
|Adapting to new information or teaching methods can take longer for teachers as it often requires training and practice to implement effectively.
So, who wins in this clash of the titans – technology or teachers? Well, isn’t it interesting that the best educational experiences often involve a blend of both? Your thoughts?
Importance of technology in education
From a chalk-and-board system to artificial intelligence in education, we have come a long way. There is no doubt that technology is the future. Firstly, it has given access to educational opportunities. Compare this with medieval times, where education was limited to specific people. Even then, people had to move to places to complete their education. In modern times, things have turned upside down in a good way.
Now you don’t have to leave your house in search of education. Technology has brought the same knowledge to your fingertips. In fact, you could find more than just online programs providing education. You can discover educational podcasts that allow you to learn while you commute. That way, technology has not only increased educational opportunities but also opened a door for unlimited knowledge.
Here is a great TED talk about the effect of technology on education –
Value of teachers for education
It is human nature to long for interaction. That’s where teachers play an important role in education. Not every time the student can understand the concept that technology presents. Sometimes, they need the assistance of educators to give them perspective and help them to understand. Apart from this, think about it from your personal experience.
How often did you find a role model in your educator? Most of you might have at some point. Teachers are students’ role models with whom they can connect. Also, the influence that technology can have on students can be manipulated, but with teachers, parents can rest assured knowing their kids are in the right hands.
Pitting Technology vs Teachers
To understand the role of technology and teachers in education, let us consider some factors to analyze further.
Inspiration of students
You might have come across study materials that inspire you to learn more about various topics. That’s exactly what teaching technology focuses on. Technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) makes learning more interactive. It engages students through full immersion and boosts their collaboration capabilities. Virtual Reality presents interactive content that allows the students to explore places without leaving their desks.
Usually, VR content can be experienced via VR headsets, or it can be projected on the walls of the classrooms. The obvious advantage is that in less time you get to explore more places. Other than this, it is a cost-effective method of learning.
Having resources doesn’t guarantee the students know how to use them in their favor. Surely, there can be manuals guiding them, but educators can inspire students in a way technology cannot, at least not yet. Teachers bring life experiences and the way they approach the topics and discussion can make a real difference in student’s life. It has the potential to influence their life and career decisions for good. Students are inspired to reach their potential with the type of clarity teachers can bring into their lives.
Guiding students in their education
Technology provides personalized learning and guidance to students. This gives them control over their way of learning and makes necessary resources easily available. In fact, technology can accommodate different learning styles including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
For visual learners, technology can be used to create presentations and video lessons to help them understand the concept better. According to our own independent research, around 22.7% of our users are visual learners. The chart of our research is given below.
The video conferencing technology helps the students with auditory learning styles learn the topic through listening and speaking. Whereas for kinesthetic learners, technology provides a hands-on experience to learn better.
What you have read now might seem too good. But when it comes to teachers, the distinguishing factor is their experience. They bring their life experience into the learning process. That way, they guide the students in developing skills that will help them to build their future. Along with this, they help them to get confidence, which builds their self-esteem. Having support from teachers is encouraging for the students.
Technology has brought educational software, gamification, and learning videos to increase student engagement. The educational software gives access to the students around the clock. It saves a lot of their time and is also quite cost-effective.
The gamification in learning makes the content appealing to the students. Not only that, it makes the learning more informative alongside its high degree of interactivity. Learning videos in education enhance students’ experience and increase their motivation.
Teachers try their best to make the classrooms welcoming for the students. Every student is different and has a way of interacting with the environment. Therefore, it becomes important to understand each of them and help them to engage more with study materials and their peers. Teachers are good at it and know how to resolve potential conflicts in the process of engagement and collaboration.
Coexistence of Technology and Teachers
In the technology vs. teachers debate, it is not necessary that we choose a side, rather, we should aim for the coexistence of technology and teachers in a classroom for the optimum benefit of the child.
Teachers also understand that in a world that is changing by the minute, they have to not only embrace but also practice technology to stay relevant. Thus, they should look for ways in which they can integrate better with technology rather than simply taking a hard stance against it. We discussed it in detail on our article on how technology benefits teachers.
Technology can certainly help a teacher in ways one would not expect. It can also help reduce their administrative responsibilities, allowing them to pay more attention to their ward. Here are a few ways in which technology can help teachers:
There are certain subjects or topics that are generally hard for students to comprehend. Now, a masterful teacher can certainly help the students with them. However, if they use technology such as PowerPoint or games that are interactive and fun, they can make it easier for the students. Gamification of a topic can impact students positively, as it allows for a much more feasible sense of achievement. It motivates them to work harder, as they can see the result of their hard work.
2. Digital Homework
Digital homework not only allows the student to become more organized but also helps the teacher track the progress of the entire class. There are many apps and platforms, such as Blackboard or Brightspace, that allow teachers to assign homework online. Doing so can also increase the participation of the student.
3. Online Grading
Similarly, online grading is a boon for both teachers and students. It can help streamline the system, save time, and offer much deeper insight for teachers. Online grading helps both students and teachers, as it is rather unbiased. It will further help with communication as the parents can directly view the child’s progress. Teachers can also use online grading to raise concerns with parents, provide a much better assessment of the student, and analyze the areas for growth systematically.
4. Virtual Field Trips
Field trips have traditionally been used to broaden the horizons of students. They are not only informative but also fun. Sadly, the logistics and planning behind a field trip can be rather bothersome for the teachers or the administration.
This is where virtual field trips can come in. Now, we know that VR certainly can’t replace physical interaction, but it definitely tries its best to replicate the experience, especially the informative part. Furthermore, virtual field trips are in no way restrictive, as students can go places that were previously considered impossible.
Wrapping up the teachers vs technology debate
Now that we have done an in-depth examination, what are your thoughts on technology versus (vs) teachers? Were you able to pick a side? If you didn’t, we don’t blame you. Technology will grow exponentially in various sectors, including education.
The demand for educators won’t nosedive. Instead, the interest for teachers who will be well-versed with technology will skyrocket in the coming time. Technology and teachers will work together to impart knowledge to students. That way, it will not only improve their quality of life but also the environment they interact with.