I've heard the debate in every other aspect of the economy, and I've heard it in education, as well: will technology replace what we do? Will we be replaced by technological innovation?
It's a fair question for everyone to ponder. So many industries have already been disrupted by innovation; from taxi drivers and mass transit to manufacturing and shipping of goods worldwide. What about teachers?
I used to believe that there was no replacement for teachers, and that in any scenario, a caring educator would always be the most effective model for preparing our youth for their future. I still believe that, but now I'm seeing a bigger picture...
Will Richardson commented on a piece written for techcrunch.com by Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media. In his original piece, Goodwin writes: "The Internet is the most powerful mechanism we can imagine to match
perfectly individuals that need something, and people with something to
offer." Richardson then ponders if that could be revised a bit, so that it reads: "The Internet is the most powerful mechanism we can imagine to match perfectly individuals that want to learn something, and people who can help them learn it.”
This brings me to my bigger picture. Will teachers who work in a system that refuses to learn and grow be replaced by other teachers who are willing to meet students where they are, wherever that may be?
If we refuse to adapt and change with the needs of our society and economies, if our schools refuse to offer courses in coding and other technological fields, will our students simply bypass us for online options that are willing to prepare them for their futures?
Sources: Will Richardson: Something Interesting is Happening Tom Goodwin writing for techcrunch.com: The Battle is for the Customer Interface