Technology in the classroom is more common than ever before. It seems like tablets have replaced textbooks and worksheets, and we can look up just about any information on our smartphones! Technology has come to transform the way we all live our lives. So as technology becomes more and more commonplace in the classroom, will teachers soon be replaced by technology? Not even close! Teachers are needed to guide students through all elements of learning, even the more tech-focused parts.
Educators have seen firsthand the benefits of technology in the classroom. They also recognize the importance of developing their student’s tech skills so they will be prepared to enter the increasingly tech-centric workforce. Teachers know that by embracing technology in the classroom we are setting our students up for a successful career outside of school!
Students love using technology because they find it makes learning more interesting, engaging, and fun. Subjects that could seem boring can be transformed with more interesting lessons using video or tablets. However, in this 2018 study, it was found that only 32% of classroom technology use was active, the rest was passive use (meaning watching YouTube videos, reading websites etc.). Active technology use requires students to use those higher-level tech skills that are required for jobs. Why is it that so much of classroom tech use is actually not preparing students for their future jobs?
The reason is that in the same study, it was found that only 10% of K-12 teachers felt confident incorporating higher-level technology (such as computer programming languages, web design, and robotics) into student learning. 10%!!
That was a lot of numbers… But it shows that there is a huge gap between teachers desire to teach their students higher-level technology skills, and their confidence in their ability to teach it!
Tech should not be scary, teachers need to be empowered to bring these tools into the classroom because students need to learn these skills for future jobs. 79% of teachers said they would like to receive more professional development for technology-related subjects and 81% wanted more curriculum plans and course materials for these subjects.
With so many new technologies emerging, as a teacher, it can be incredibly difficult to know where to start! If you are a teacher who did not grow up with these advanced technologies, it can be super intimidating to feel like you don’t know how to help your students build skills in these very important areas! How on earth are we supposed to teach our students how to design their own video games or code their own websites if we don’t know how to do it ourselves?!?
But, while technology can seem like the thing that is intimidating us, it can actually be the thing to help us too!
Just like how students have varying levels of familiarity with tech, all teachers have different levels of confidence and familiarity with these same tools. But carefully designed technology can help teachers facilitate student learning, even if they aren’t experts themselves! Meaningful technology integration prepares the teachers as well as the students to use these tech skills!
Meaningful tech is about building content for classrooms with not just students in mind, but also teachers in mind so that teachers without STEM experience can be empowered to teach these important subjects. So no, technology will never replace teachers. But meaningful technology integration can help empower teachers to help their students!
Teachers need to be empowered to teach STEM subjects, and this is why we launched the STEM Minds Online Academy (SMOA). We want to empower teachers to empower their students! Students can be more self-directed, and learn right from the online platform. Teachers are there to support them along the way, and we are there to support teachers along the way! This means that even if teachers aren’t tech experts, they can be empowered to bring this higher-level tech learning into their classroom.
A computer can give information, but a teacher can lend a hand, or an ear, and help their students succeed. The teacher’s role will remain a huge part of the educational process, that will never go away. But worthwhile tech is what can empower teachers to bring new ideas into the classroom even if they aren’t fully familiar with the subject matter!
Tech is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the classroom, tech cannot simply take the place of teachers! It is not about undermining a teachers role, it is only augmenting it! Classroom tech needs to be all about empowering educators in their classrooms so that students can thrive. So no, tech is definitely NOT replacing teachers any time soon!