How teachers can remain relevant in the era of technology
With the rapid advancement of technology in the realm of education, the fear that a teacher’s role will be obsolete is growing. It is commonly feared that a teacher may be reduced to a mere facilitator of information. The current commercial trends have further reduced the role of an educator to that of a paid service provider. Thus, teaching, which was earlier considered a noble profession, is now compared to a commercial enterprise.
Greater use of technology in the classroom has made the process of teaching less personal. Teachers are no longer accredited with being figures who impart knowledge.. This is a major challenge being faced in a field that is constantly being augmented by technology. . However, teachers can still strive to remain effective and relevant.
What teachers can do
Teachers who use technology could certainly replace those who do not in the near future.
Although various kinds of technologies may take up several tasks that were predominantly performed by a teacher,, teachers can take on new and, often, more individualised roles and responsibilities.
Here are a few things that teachers can do to build on the inputs from technology:
1. Extend the process of learning
Students can use technology to easily access information. The Internet, especially, provides a vast database of information in response to any query or search. Students, therefore, have access to a myriad of information on relevant topics and concepts at their fingertips.
However, true learning is not limited to simply acquiring information. Teachers can help the students process the information, relate it to tangible aspects of life and learn how it is applicable and relevant in the world.. This integration of mental processing with decision-making and everyday actions can help improve learning.
2. Simulate real-world situations using technology
Teachers can use multimedia technology to create aesthetic simulations of real-world situations. When the students watch a simulation of a real-world process, through audio-visual media, they will grasp the colours, shapes and sounds related to their lessons and, therefore, learn better.
3. Promote interaction and group learning
Students can be encouraged to engage in online discussions and assist each other to get tasks done better. So, the process will become more learner-centric and the teacher will be less of an instructor and more of a facilitator. Teachers can visualise these new possibilities, which are different from what the teaching experience has been like so far.
4. Impart insight and experience
A significant part of knowledge is difficult to transmit and articulate only through technological means. Teachers have personal experience and insight, gained over the years, especially with respect to processes and skills. They can share these with their students to impart knowledge.
5. Add a personal aspect
In computer-based learning, human interaction tends to be limited and the process is rather impersonal. It focuses more on deriving outcomes rather than the individual, holistic development of students . Teachers can give a personal touch to the process by providing positive reinforcement to students, even when the education is technology-driven.
Therefore, teachers can combine time-honoured instruction techniques with technology to benefit from the new opportunities available and remain relevant even in the technological era.