June 21, 2016
“Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be.” -David Thornburg
What is meant by this rewording of Arthur C. Clarke’s original quote? Sure, computers can determine answers instantly, have routines programmed into them, and possess an infinite supply of knowledge about every subject imaginable. On the other hand, computers cannot encourage and empower our youth to their fullest potential. Computers cannot get to know their students, elaborate with them, or nurture in time of need. They will never fulfill that personal human connection that every child needs to understand their importance in this world and how capable they are to make it a better place.
Sugata Mitra had some great ideas with his Hole in the Wall experiment (http://youtu.be/dk60sYrU2RU). Children were given the freedom to learn and research on their own with the help of a computer alongside other students their age. As a future educator, I would take away from his experiment that children must be allowed to explore. From this, future educators should learn that children can be trusted with their own curiosity to learn when given the tools and freedom to do so. Children do not need to have lectures, busy work, or memorization at all times; they must also be given the expectation to independently seek and analyze information for themselves.
The further along our technology goes, the more we must learn to use and appreciate it. As a future educator, I would like to teach my students how to use that technology wisely and effectively so that they are acquiring smart information. I want my students to feel confident in acknowledging true facts from fictitious material when they are researching for homework or their own personal use. I do not believe computers can replace teachers, but they definitely will offer endless sources of valuable information.