Computers are increasingly used at all levels of education. Computers are increasingly used at all levels of education. Therefore, the role of teachers will disappear in the future. Do you agree or...

Computers are increasingly used at all levels of education.

Computers are increasingly used at all levels of education. Therefore, the role of teachers will disappear in the future. Do you agree or disagree?

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Computers are used a lot for various reasons: watching a video online, or presenting lessons using PowerPoint. Students do research and then type up their work.

I cannot imagine, however, that the computer can replace the teacher in a school setting, pre-college. While some colleges may offer classes online, in the lower grades, students still need the guidance of a teacher, the one-on-one connections, and the explanations that can be offered for one student's question, but can still benefit the group. The human component will always be necessary, especially as our society has so many more kids taking care of themselves while both parents work fulltime. I think some kids very much dislike the time they have to spend in an empty house.

There are some things that cannot be taught on the computer, and I think it will always be that way, especially with more abstract concepts; and discussion is something that flows much easier in an open classroom. I think computers can be very helpful, but I also find that finding ways to implement them in the classroom can be very time-consuming many times; and I think on the part of students, they would prefer the human touch—maybe not even the teacher's input, but the company of their peers. This does not go for all kids, but as mentioned above, I think it's about finding balance. Teachers are really the ones who designate how much the computer will be used in class.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can see where the question is going, but I would still have to disagree with its basic premise.  The problem with the question is that it presumes that technology and computers can provide the same level of instruction as a teacher.  There is no denying that education has changed with the role of technology in the classroom.  I don't think that this has eliminated the need for teachers, but rather redefined it.  The teacher is no longer the central source of information in the classroom, but rather a facilitator of learning.  The construction of the teacher's purpose in the classroom has to change with technology.  Students can "get" the answers online.  Yet, the true nature of learning and understanding of content is something that technology can enhance along with teacher instruction.  The teacher's purpose in the classroom is no longer to get the student from "A to B," but rather allow the student the explore all the different points of complexity within "A to B."  This is where technology along with teacher guidance and understanding can be truly transformative.  The goals of teaching students how to be critical thinkers and how to reflect knowledge and learning in both the classroom and the real world have not changed.  Technology has changed the role of the teacher, but not the overall need for the teacher.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That's like saying that books will replace teachers. Hasn't happened yet, nor will it ever.

You are making a lot of presumptions that don't hold for the majority of learners. First, the vast majority of humans are social creatures who do not work well in solitude. Hence the group setting of education will always be more successful than keeping students isolated. But in groups that social urge comes to the forefront, and no learning whatsoever will occur unless there is behavior management present to keep students on task, and that is the realm of teachers.

The same social impulse drives the need for individualization of instruction. When a student gets "stuck" on a topic, most do not keep trying over and over unless there is someone there to encourage them to persevere and also to guide them in approaching the material in a new way. That's the other great task of teachers.

I don't see a computer, no matter how sophisticated, replacing the teacher as classroom manager or as guide.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that there will always be a need for teachers in a liberal-minded educational setting. The belief that computers can replace teachers is primarily a financial stance that suggests that schools can save money by using more computers and less educators. I think that teaching positions may be slightly reduced; there are increasingly large numbers of classes (mostly in college) that are being taken online, with many classes synched to a single teacher. But the big loss will come in the form of books. The written word is slowly being transferred from the written page to the computer screen, and in the future books may become increasingly rare for use in the classroom. The younger generation certainly seems to prefer it this way, since more books and newspapers are being read online than ever before.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That is way overstated.  The role of the teacher may be reduced, but there is no way that you can actually be rid of the teacher.  In history classes, for example, a computer cannot help students understand the material better than a book can.  Students cannot learn just from a computer any more than they can learn just from a book.  If a student has a question, the computer cannot answer it.  There still needs to be a teacher who can offer explanations and devise lessons that will appeal to students.

Some students can learn simply from a computer, but those students could also learn simply from books.  The great majority of students will always need teachers to help them in a personalized way that a computer cannot achieve.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I disagree.  I think computers are just another tool.  They cannot replace a teacher.  Personally, I've seen classes taught entirely by a computerized tutorial.  There was a program at one of the schools I worked at that had an after school computer program.  Students went to the computer lab and took a course through an on-line tutorial program.  It was designed for students who had failed a class but didn't have room in their schedule to retake it.  The idea was to help students finish high school on time.  It didn't work.  Very few students passed the end of course tests after completing the tutorial program.  Almost all of the students ended up retaking the class with an actual, live teacher before they were able to pass.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is we who build and control the technology, not the other way around. This would be a wild reduction of the job of the educator, and a minimalistic way of viewing the role of teaching within civilized society.

To think of the "rise of the machines" without the influence of human agency is contradictory in that it gives humans as much power to build the machines and as little power to control what they build. We are not trying to be Victor Frankensteins who create things that we do not understand. We create tools that help us lead easier and more productive lives. Hence, it would be quite wrong to assume that computers will end up thinking on their own. We can just unplug them. Then go and see what they can do.

bigdreams1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While technology will greatly assist good teachers in allowing students a wider range of information from which to draw, the human factor must remain in the classroom. Only a fraction of my daily work is instruction. Most of my job entails developing the whole child...motivating them to learn...encouraging them to reach for their goals...praising them for a job well done...and holding them accountable for poor choices. Computers will never be able to do that.


brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Human beings are dynamic, in life and in learning.  You can't program a computer to be dynamic, or to take the place of a human outside of largely rote tasks.  While some students can learn just fine from a purely online set of coursework, the human interaction and coaching is important and more nuanced than any computer can provide.  I do agree that teacher's jobs in the future will be even more impacted by technology, and its successful use.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
No, teachers won't disappear. There might be fewer needed though. The most likely scensario I see is larger classes with individualized, computer-based instructon. One teacher per large class would still need to be there to trouble shoot and answer questions.
gopikrishna | Student

classroom website allows students and parents to have access to the class schedule and assignments on a continuous basis. Thus “computers should be used as an educational tool rather than a means of education”. PowerPoint has the potential to facilitate better classes. Moreover, old techniques such as eye contact, expression and gestures are still important. Some of the advantages of its skilful use would be that it makes learning less mundane. Additionally, the visuals incorporated in the slides make everything more interesting and motivates students, further improving their retention. Music used can also enhance the learning experience and allow the information the information to store better into their long-term memory, since it facilitates both textual analysis and critical thinking on the topic at hand.


wwjdsw | Student

i also disagree because technology will only help teachers teach the lesson better not teach all of it completly. without teachers, there would not be any classes which would mean you would not get to meet alot of the people you have meat to day in school.