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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Technology replaces teachers?

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Subject:   Technology helps teachers
Author: Gene
Date: Sep 28 2003
Joel's very nice post ends

"I believe technology offers an alternative to trying to homogenizing all
learners, it can help teachers manage the logistical chaos of trying to let
large numbers of learners go at their own pace. The role change I see of
teachers is from dispenser of information to diagnoser of student understanding
and customizer of instruction. To me this does not denigrate or demean the
teacher, rather it seems to be immensely freeing. It allows you to be a fellow
sojourner for understanding. I'd be interested to hear the opinions of lots of
teachers on this? I'm sure one reaction, is yeah, that should great but it is
pie in the sky."

Here's the opinion of one teacher. I like and agree with most things you say up
to the last sentence of your last paragraph:  I and my students are happily
dining on the pie right now.

I'd add that technology also gives students opportunities for individual
attention in ways and at times we teachers just can't. I can focus on presenting
the Big Picture in class and now there are enough tools in some areas to allow
students to fill in the pieces they don't understand at their own pace—even
testing their mastery of some concepts.

I usually show software tools in class, both to be sure the students will then
be able to use them on their own and also because the tools often help visualize
concepts much better than my bad blackboard drawing. They can then go through
the ideas with the software afterward wherever and however they wish.

I think the technology makes me a better teacher, helps the students surmount
hurdles I can't, and it ain't about to replace me!

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