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Is technology a Trojan Horse out to destroy academia?

Just listened to an interview by The Chronicle of Higher Education with Audrey Watters, http://audreywatters.com, in which she discusses technology as a Trojan Horse designed to destroy academia, and that we are subject to the Silicon Valley narrative. In the interview, Audrey suggests that ‘personalisation’ through technology looses dialogue and debate and that the classroom positive collective experience. She goes onto to say that often technology is imposed on individual academics and teachers, leaving them feeling that technology is done to the classroom and not through teacher development and choice.

Though the interview states that they believe Audrey Watters is not against technology, rather that teachers to need to embrace it more effectively. For example,creating their own websites. It is well worth a listen to keep the discussion and critical debate active.

Do we need Teachers in Education?

It is not about making learning happen, but allowing learning to happen. (Sugata Mitra, Ted Talks)

BBC Radio 4 – Start of the Week on 8th May 2016 discussed the need for schools, teachers, and the role technology plays in education. If learners were left to their own devices, would they just get on and learn? What part does social and peer development play within education?

What about those who are not ready to learn?

 

 

I do like the conversation in the Start of the Week broadcast about the issues around MOOCs, and the importance of school as a place to develop the person. Creating an identity and a  place within the social structure. Sugata argues that Primary Schooling contains people who are all ready to learn, teenager and undergraduate education is a whole different experience. For me, this shows how secondary education is not fit for purpose and is training pupils for society and employment that is ceasing to exist. Conformity, and the learner as a product, is outdated for the information age. Teachers need to be able to utilise a flexible, theme based problem-solving curriculum. Technology can support pupils to demonstrate their learning to any appropriate stakeholder. Educators should not be constrained by discrete subjects and assessment to meet generalised assessment and league tables.

If, as a teacher you are worried about losing your job to a computer, perhaps you should. The role is changing and even Sugata Mitra offers this advice, “Teachers often ask me, am I going to lose my job? I say no because your job will get harder. It will become a different job. It will go from being a master standing at the front of class to a helpful friend at the back.” He adds: “There will have to be a dramatic change to teacher programmes but we are no where near that yet.” (The Guardian 24th Feb 2015)