Student Projects/Information and Communication Technology in Classrooms - Do They Replace the Human Teachers?
Technology has revolutionized pretty much all spheres of our life and education is no exception. Education has revolutionized right from the use of sand in teaching and learning through the using of blackboards, OHP displays all the way to the modern tabs. This will definitely not end here and will definitely go on till the human race is in existence. But one question that still haunts us is this - Will these tools replace the human teacher in the classroom? In this article, we shall discuss the issue.
Young children learning through drawing on the sand. This method is now slowly being replaced with tablet devices for learning.
What Is the Controversy?
The last decade of the twentieth century saw computers replacing humans in many fields (especially in India) like banking, commerce, and other related fields. One computer could perform the task of many humans as a result of which many people lost their jobs. It was also predicted that this trend will soon spread to the other fields, especially education.
So, people did think that there will be only computers teaching in classrooms!!
What Is the Problem With That?
Schools are a place for learning and forming meaningful relationships like friendships. If the children are confined to "Computer school rooms" of their homes, they would be deprived of this great opportunity to meet and understand people. Also, they would have problems in developing abilities and skills for understanding people.
School is not just a place for learning facts. It is a place for social learning. As rightly said by an anonymous person, school is a miniature society and there need to be people for the proper development of "miniature humans". So, teachers themselves getting replaced by computers is simply not acceptable because teachers are not there just to pass on the information and knowledge, but also to have an eye on the behaviour of the children and guide them on the right path. The computer, however, fails to do this because it does not have the capacity to think independently. And how many kids do you think will listen to computers?
What is Technology in the Classrooms At the Present?
ICT Devices are increasingly being used in classrooms as learning aids, not as a replacement for the human teacher.
While we all can imagine a private room in every house called the "School Room" where there is a computer that teaches the student everything, for now, that is just a hypothetical situation.
For now, a human is needed to teach in pretty much all the areas of education. Even if we are learning online, we'd like to prefer a human explaining the concepts in detail rather than a cold, computer-human robotic voice reading things out mechanically.
Well, that does not mean that ICT has no role in education right now. There are biometrics, e-learning resources and platforms that bring students and teachers across the world together. Yes, the internet is being extensively used in the classrooms for teaching resources and this will continue. Yes, students look into the internet even before asking their teachers about it. But, will ICT replace teachers in the classroom? No.
Why Cannot Computers Replace Teachers in the Classrooms?
Classrooms are a collection of live humans with emotions. Computers, at present are not capable of handling them.
To replace the human-teacher in a classroom, one will have to replace all the human students of that class with computer-students. One species can only effectively handle its own species well when it comes to the learning scenario. A classroom is not just the place for cramming facts but is also the place where there is cracking of jokes, laughter, jealousy, care, love, crushes, hatred, cries and boredom. The computer is simply incapable of handling all these. The only species capable of handling these things is Homo sapiens.
What Will Happen If Computers Replace Humans?
The guidance of a teacher is very important for developing children. If computers replace humans, children will be deprived of this privilege of having a caring human being at their disposal.
If computers replace humans, the students will just be contained with theoretical information and facts, with little or no practical exposure. Plus, there will be a serious deficit in the social development of children, resulting in serious consequences because, ultimately, the children should grow up to live amidst other humans in society.
Lastly, they will have no memories of their first crushes, punishments, gangs, mischiefs of their student-life to recollect when the time has passed.
More importantly, they will be deprived of the friendly and timely guidance of their teachers and the lovely bonding with their "school-parents".