It’s been long said that one day, in a future, far, far away, we’ll be seeing teachers replaced by automated systems, robotics and computer technology of the highest caliber. Up until recently, however, this was all but science fiction and served no real-world probability or possibility. However, this could be due to change.
In the Gulf Region, Middle East, classrooms are seeing traditional white and black boards removed in favor of interactive learning boards. Chalk pieces are being thrown out across the nation and a technology revolution is sweeping through nearly every school, especially in the United Arab Emirates.
“Technology is fast catching up with schools as well. We already have the technology where teachers can sit on their desk and still use the large screen to explain lessons, draw tables and diagrams and transmit the same wirelessly to individual mini screens placed on a student’s table.” – Manish Bakshi, Managing Director at technology giant BenQ. Not only is the company itself showcasing its own line of technology and classroom solutions, but many other suppliers, including western super giant Samsung, are demonstrating the potential for education technology in schools at the Gulf Education Supplies and Solutions exhibition in Dubai.
So this blogger’s question to you is, will teachers see themselves replaced too? It’s extremely common already for students to be given touch-screen tablets across the region upon entering school and this has been shown to have a major impact on the student’s engagement in the classroom with the rest of the class. Additionally, BenQ estimates than within the coming decade we will see technological devices replace textbooks, interactive projectors in every classroom and cloud-based student project systems. At this point isn’t it only a matter of time until teachers too, are replaced?
But teachers are able to provide many other capabilities, it’s been well-documented that the attitude of a teacher directly influences the enjoy-ability of a class and subsequently impacts the engagement of all students involved. Additionally, teachers frequently provide council and a listening ear for students struggling with work, social problems and issues at home. This is something that technology simply cannot do.
However, the technology also works out incredibly cheap when compared to a teacher’s wages for several years. This low-cost is far more attractive for business owners and directors who frequently view their schools as a source of income rather than a learning institute. So at the end of the day, it’s very possible that teachers could soon find themselves out of pocket if these technological advances are able to supersede their human counterparts.
What do you think? Is technology in classrooms a good thing and why should it be or not be used? Will technology replace teachers in general and what are the implications of doing such a thing? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to check out our positions in the United Arab Emirates here!
[Zawya: Technology redefining UAE classrooms]