Teachers may well be replaced by computers in some situations. This does not mean that this is the best learning situation for all students. Computer can present information; teachers cannot compete with the instant information provided by a computer. On the other hand, a computer’s effectiveness will never replace the rapport between the student and the teacher. If schools were only responsible for measuring the lowest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy which is knowledge and comprehension, then computers would be impactful in the child’s learning. The other areas of school life which are more subjective need to be handled in an individualized way.
If the best situation for the student is important, then the combining of the data of the computer with the qualities of an excellent teacher is the most appropriate educational setting. Many students will not have the best learning environment with just the use of a computer. Individualization and personal learning environments can only be ascertained by a teacher.
Socialization, an important part of school life, can only be achieved by an actual human being. Abuse, human interaction, parental involvement—these need actual human attention. Removing the human component in school is not a positive situation. Teachers need to be there to notice when the child is depressed, has no friends, is tired, and is lacking in social skills. Sometimes, a child needs a hug or human interaction which cannot be provided by a computer.
The computer is a great tool for teaching. The internet provides the needed research aspect of learning. Every child should have exposure to the computer and how it works. One long time teacher noted:
More than 50% of my students do not have access to the Internet. They might have computers in their homes, but Internet access is not a necessity for most of them, not when the bills have to be paid. For the life of me, I cannot see how computerized instruction can meet the needs of all students. Will different programs be developed for each student?
Unfortunately, like most situations in education, computer availability is not equal. There will be some schools that will have the funds and means to provide every child with a computer while at school. There will be other schools that do not have enough money to provide one computer per classroom. The huge amount of money needed to purchase computers could be better used for more traditional forms of education like books and also salaries for better teachers.
No current computer will ever replace the human qualities that are necessary to have the ideal setting for all students. There are particular skills that are used in real research. These are lost when the information is provided for the student without really having to find specific data. Rarely do computers help people learn. A good teacher and books really make the difference. Computers are tools not teachers