Questions That Require Answers
Technology in the classroom; is it the solution, the crutch or the nail in the coffin of the public education system as we know it?
Just as we have seen the progressive abdication of parental responsibility to the schools, are we now beginning to see the progressive abdication of academic responsibility to technology and the government?
Technology has a place in education, but will we abuse it and rely too much on it? Is it the teacher or the tools that provides the education? Did children learn less before technology? Are we asking these questions?
Do we no longer expect, want or need the teacher to engage and inspire the student? Are we going to rely too heavily on technology to the point where – other than the students – the only body needed in a classroom is a minimally paid aide whose only function is to keep the children on task?
Oh, he or she may be called upon from time to time to quiet the occasional outburst of laughter when a silent room fills with the melodious rumblings of last night’s bean burrito. Other than those, and the occasional fire drill, there’ll really be no need for a highly educated, highly compensated and benefited “teacher.”
Those laughing last will be the custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and all those who asked for "just enough." Their jobs, in this future will be secure.
Will the natural evolution of technology remove completely the need of schools as well as teachers? Is the classroom of the future your home and a computer? I can envision a day when all the lessons from K-12 will come neatly bundled in computer programs that only require that you turn the computer on to fulfill the state’s commitment to your education.
Think of the billions of dollars taxpayers will save in not having to provide services other than the materials necessary for logging in and retrieving your daily lesson for the next 13 years.
As I see it, it’s only a matter of time before teachers, unions, boards of education, the bureaucracy and bureaucrats as well as the brick and mortar buildings associated, crumble to the ground, their time in the sun passed.
If you think this is implausible, look around; the planet is full of the ruins of cultures and societies that ran their courses and vanished or evolved and moved on.
We, as a society, have already decided we can’t be bothered with creating our own state specific curriculum and standards. And The National Governors Association is all too eager to jump at the chance to wag a finger in the faces of us yokels. After all, we are too ig‘nert to create, administer, monitor, maintain and evaluate our own unique school system as well as the student success/failure rates. History has proven time and again government, on all levels, does a much better job.
Silly, silly commoners.
First we gave up monitoring the content of our children’s education. Even though we’ve learned that was a huge mistake, we are still willing to give up who will create our standards and curriculum as well as the manner in which it will be disseminated.
In the classroom of tomorrow, where once stood a flesh and blood teacher, who created a lesson befitting the students before her, will soon stand an interactive white board, iPad or similar device. The lesson will be the same for millions of students across America, every hour of every day, of every week, of every year. I can see their creativity, imagination and entrepreneurial spirits coming alive already, can’t you? I hope they wear school uniforms; we wouldn’t want fashion to spark any sort of revolution.
One of them is bound to be the next Bill Gates, aren’t they? – AREN’T THEY!?
There is an upside. It only brings a fleeting moment of joy, but still an upside nonetheless. Those long budget battles over teacher raises will be as archaic as the need for the teachers themselves.
I told you it was fleeting.
The irony here is that the teachers themselves have created this end-point. Through the constant support, advocacy or complacency for the “student-centered” learning model over the “teacher-centered” one, you’ve advocated yourselves out of relevance. Kudos!
Of course, you don’t stand alone in this achievement. You were helped along the way by the ideological zealots who advocated for all the touchy-feely, hopey-changey, huggy-lovey, environmentally friendly, green-approved, it’s all about their self-esteem education models.
You can all pat yourselves on the back while you exclaim: “Well done, well done” on your way to the employment agency.
You’ve asked and expected more than was necessary, affordable and endurable. Most of all, and what goes ignored as well as looked at honestly, are the thousands of pages of research that said none of what you advocated for, ever proved to be effective in significantly – and in a prolonged manner – furthering the education of a child.,