Technology can’t replace teachers; BUT teachers with technology will replace the teachers without technology

Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.-Heidi Hayes Jacobs


Technology can’t replace teachers in classroom. The Indian education system is not equipped to deliver quality education to children in tier 3 and tier 4 cities. Two third of the surveyed students in age of 14- 16 years were unable to solve simple mathematical problems as per their syllabus. This makes a very strong case for a Practice Based Learning system. SpeedLabs has designed a very effective solution to fix this gap.

Developing and enabling quality teachers for their professional role is the missing link in India’s educational system. Internet and Technology are game changer in last two decades. Over the last couple of decades, we have witnessed new technologies transforming not just scientific and industrial development but also completely transform our daily lives.  The TATA trust has been working with the National Council on Teacher Education to develop a modern curriculum for teacher training programmes. Technology indeed is a significant enabler for achieving quality education with the objectives of   access, quality and equity.

However Technology is not going to replace teachers but is going to empower them. It is necessary for technology, especially AI  to be incorporated into curriculum delivery and teacher capacity building. With AI in education, we can expect a change that will supersede all our expectations, most likely in a positive way.


Technology (AI) and Personalized Education

Though technologies have proven effective and we already see their positive impact, they are not even close to the kind of impact AI can have when it comes to education. The ability to keep track of data and use it to make conclusive deductions can help overcome the limitations of situated learning, where the teacher has to decide which method of teaching will resonate with the majority of their audience. The same holds true for assessment, where it is impossible to objectively conclude how well a student understands a subject because we only have a limited time for such assessment and hence it must be restricted to a time bound evaluation which is clearly not very convincing as a method of evaluation. Many have identified this flaw and we already see various assessment platforms coming up which are trying to implement AI and using its power to create fairer way to assess candidates by taking into account all limitations of a fixed format exam like varying weight-age and difficulty over the entire curriculum. AI also makes sure that any bias that could creep in when a small group of people create an assessment exercise and we already see this bias getting removed in platforms where questions are generated based on user’s response.

Steps in Learning are as following

  1. Lecture by a teacher for Concept Introduction
  2. Revision
  3. Practice
  4. Analysis and Personalized Improvement Feedback
  5. Tests
  6. Doubt Solving

Even though the technology is being used for all the steps to a different degree, but the power of technology can be harnessed to the maximum advantage after the high quality step one where face – to – face teaching plays a very important role.

In the classroom, there is a huge advantage for keeping the discussing, peer to peer interaction, social learning and teacher connect. This is important to build learning openness for all the students.


Hybrid Learning – A Healthy Merger 

While EdTech platforms provide access, analysis and flexibility, they cannot bridge learning gaps. Instead of undermining the role of a teacher in today’s mobile learning landscape, it is important to grasp the fact that technology is only an add-on tool, not a complete substitute for traditional teaching methods. Hence, it is important to move toward a Tech Hybrid Model, one in which teachers are trained to harness the true power of technology in personalized education.

Research from Andhra Pradesh estimated that implementing computer based learning would led to a wage boost of 5.1% and lifetime benefits worth Rs, 83,000/- ($ 1,313) . The first decade after the implementation of the Right to education Act, which received Presidential assent and was notified as a law on August 26, 2009, has seen remarkable achievements, especially in school attendance. It is now time for us to concurrently focus on strengthening the system for teachers and leverage technology to improve learning outcomes if we are to build human capital in the country

Also published on Medium.

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