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Why New Technologies Will Never Replace Great Teaching
Aristotle said "man is a political animal". Central to Aristotle's idea was the innate desire for humans to interact with one another, learn from one another, and socialize with one another. Some may say that social media does this – but does it really?
Put at its simplest, if future models of learning mean encouraging young people to spend prolonged periods in front of computer screens, accessing piles and piles of information, without teachers to stimulate thinking and learning, then that is clearly not the way forward.
Education is much more complex than that. Learning occurs best when there is a strong relationship, trust and bond between a teacher and student (and parents). Virtual learning simply cannot do that. In a world now where young people are retreating more and more into virtual "unreality", the teaching profession is more important than it ever was. It is teaching that keeps it real –it is teaching that keeps young people and relationships active. It is teachers that care. In short, teachers and teaching will never stop being critical to learning.
Teachers don't simply teach concepts and skills. Any new technology can do that.
Good teachers inspire our young people to be lifelong learners, creating a culture of independent inquiry with their enthusiasm and passion. Good teachers have the skills to know exactly how to get the best out of each and every student in their care.
No 'new models of learning' can ever compromise or threaten the essence of what a teacher is, always has been and always will be.
Our teachers want the best for their students, and use new technologies wisely and appropriately in their lessons to achieve this. "Appropriately" means that the technology is used only when it will support, improve, and enhance student learning. It does not mean that students will be using the technology all day, every day.