Almost a decade ago, after the intrusion of computers in the public domain, one of the apprehensions was that will the growing use of computers negatively affect the manual employment opportunities? But the time proved this apprehension to be wrong as we see today that the introduction of computers has rather increased the employment opportunities and has also paved the path for new avenues in terms of education as well as employment.
The situation now is more or less the same with the expansion of internet-based technologies in the education system. The age-old classroom teaching is being challenged by the introduction of online platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and several educational Apps.
Can technology replace teachers? Absolutely not. We believe that technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers will be transformational.
The role of a teacher is not merely confined to imparting knowledge. It goes far beyond that. A good teacher inculcates values to the students, and also becomes an inspirational role model for kids. Many times, even parents are not able to impart all the values which a teacher does effortlessly. Especially in the case of small children and young students the importance of teachers can not be undermined.
A good teacher understands the needs of students with different learning abilities and grasping capacities and accordingly modifies her way of explaining lessons. With a live and personalised classroom teaching student has the liberty to ask questions and clarify doubts then and there.
No doubt, the best teachers will always play a pivotal role in educating and inspiring students for decades to come but technology must be seen as a tool to enhance the teacher’s potential and not as a replacement for the teacher. There are many advanced tools, like online platforms for virtual meetings and interactive sessions which can be treated as a support system for our teachers. Rather than treating technology and teachers as some diverging source we can think of the two as a converging source of knowledge. Technology in a way also facilitates teachers to increase their reach and simplify the teaching process. The advancement of technology has also given the opportunity to the teachers to enhance their ability and depth of knowledge through regular upskilling.
Bill Gates once said, "Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important."
We envisage a future where there will be no geographical barriers in connecting students globally to the best teachers globally in a personalised manner. Any student sitting far apart and in remote areas can be benefited through the teaching of a good teacher even without meeting her in person. Teachers will have access to every information about the student at their fingertips - past performance, behavioral traits, past assignments, and AI-driven recommended curriculum and learning roadmap that can be reviewed and further refined with the guidance of the teacher. During the class, teachers will be able to digitally use the best resource to explain concepts - whiteboard, sample finished projects, real mentors from the field, or guided explanation using kids’ Avatars to make it fun. Technology can be used to recommend the relevant personalised assignment to enhance the learning - and all this will happen with the teacher guiding the technology so it improves over time.
Great teachers empowered with technology can have a transformational effect on the overall development of students, and we have just embarked upon this journey to make this reality by improving the quality of education, one student at a time.