Technological innovation is impacting every aspect of our lives, including schools. But with the rise of new technologies like AI systems and social media, teachers are left grappling with what it all means for their classrooms. So will technology replace teachers? We tackle this question and explore the implications of digital technology in schools. Let’s dive right in!
Will Technology Replace Teachers?
Short answer: No.
Not emphatic enough? Let’s try again. Will technology replace teachers?
A well-rounded education that empowers student performance requires the role of a skilled teacher. And in most situations, it involves many good teachers, all playing different and unique roles in a student’s learning experience.
But just because technology won’t replace teachers, it doesn’t mean that educational technology doesn’t play a crucial role in our schools. Rather than pinning teachers and technology against each other, we should consider the power of combining high-quality teaching with cutting-edge new technologies.
Furthermore, we can support and empower teachers while advancing and promoting valuable educational technology.
Where The Question “Will Technology Replace Teachers” Is Coming From
To better understand where the question, “Will technology replace teachers?” comes from, we must first take a brief look at the history of our education systems.
Historically, schools considered learners to be consumers of facts. As a result, a “good teacher” was expected to be the purveyor of knowledge and bestow it upon students.
But over the years, the teaching profession evolved by responding to the unique role that our young people played in their own learning experience. As a result, teachers worked to differentiate learning and create a dynamic classroom supporting all students’ learning processes.
And while these advances in the modern classroom garnered positive results, they also significantly strained teacher workload. As a result, digital technology has played a crucial role in supporting the rising demands of teachers and students.
Now, technology plays a prominent role in just about every aspect of students’ lives. It seems like every year we see students using more and more technology in schools. And because of this continued advancement of technology use, some have looked to the extreme and asked the question, “Will technology replace teachers?” altogether.
The Role of a Teacher
Seeing any amount of technology used in schools and jumping right to the question, “Will technology replace teachers?” demonstrates a general lack of understanding of what goes into the teaching experience.
The role of a teacher is multifaceted and an incredibly involved process. Rather than creating our own list, let’s look at what Indeed (a leader in job search and hiring) outlined as a teacher job description. Beyond just being a role model to our students (which should be compelling enough), Indeed highlights with this long list all of the different components of a teacher workload.
The teachers’ roles outlined by Indeed include:
Establishing and enforcing rules of behavior for students in the classroom
Preparing lessons, units and projects to complete learning objectives
Establishing and communicating clear objectives for lessons, units and projects
Adapting teaching methods and materials to meet the interests and learning styles of students
Encouraging students to explore learning opportunities and career paths
Creating, assigning and grading various assessments for students, including tests, quizzes, essays and projects
Working with students one-on-one when they need extra help or attention
Tracking and evaluating student academic progress
Leading parent-teacher meetings
Maintaining positive relationships with students, parents, coworkers and supervisors
Managing student behavior
Creating a safe, respectful and inclusive classroom environment
Communicating regularly with parents
Helping students improve study methods and habits
Administering tests to evaluate students’ progress
Authors Note: This is not an exhaustive list! The role of a teacher varies by subject, grade level, and school. However, this list does highlight just how much is involved for teacher workload.
The Role of Technology
Now that we have highlighted how much teachers are responsible for, let’s change the question. Instead of “Will technology replace teachers?” we should ask, “How can technology support teachers?”
At a high level, educational technology can and should allow teachers to streamline administrative and cumbersome tasks to spend more time with students fostering valuable human connections. For example, when a teacher uses technology to deliver lesson plans and materials, instead of being a lecturer stuck at the front of the class, they can become a facilitator and provide more human interaction and one-on-one instruction.
In addition, having technology in the classroom is like having built-in teaching assistants for every student. For example, when students have questions, they can access many of the answers they might have on computers, tablets, or other digital devices. Again, this doesn’t replace the teacher but does act as additional classroom support.
Finally, technology can provide real-time feedback and insights to students, teachers, families, and administrators. Our education systems should be inclusive and not operate in silos. Technology can help connect and create new forms of collaboration and insights across different stakeholders in our education systems.
Authors Note: Much like the role of a teacher, this is not an exhaustive list. New technologies continue to evolve and create ways to help streamline and advance the teaching and learning process. But, even just these few examples highlight how we can enhance schools with technology.
Will Technology Replace Teachers In Physical Education?
While we have looked to answer the question “Will technology replace teachers?” at a high level, how does it relate to physical education? Will technology replace teachers in physical education?
Again, absolutely not!
This is important to us at PLT4M! Because we are a fitness curriculum and technology within the education industry, we want to be abundantly clear about our role in the world of physical education and schools.
PLT4M, and other new technology in the physical education sector, cannot and will not replace the role of the teacher. Again, the question shouldn’t be, “Will technology replace teachers in physical education?” Instead, it should be “How can technology support teachers in physical education?”
Incorporating technology in physical education supports students through interactive resources and materials. In addition, it provides a data and feedback loop for students, teachers, administrators, and other key stakeholders.
With the addition of technology for students, PE teachers also have opportunities to take advantage of what ed tech can bring. For example, with apps like PLT4M, teachers can monitor assessments and progress with a click of a button to see who is making progress and who needs some additional attention.
On top of that, data can easily be communicated to administrators and other stakeholders that want to see what is going on in physical education classes. By incorporating technology in physical education, teachers have an easier time ‘making a case for PE.’
Key Takeaways on “Will Technology Replace Teachers”
If we haven’t said it enough, technology will not replace teachers completely. Instead, technology can support and enhance student learning and teacher experience.
Just look at what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic and virtual learning. Every student, teacher, and school was forced into digital environments, presenting many challenges and struggles. Our young people needed the support and human connections that teachers provided, even if it was remote and through online learning.
Furthermore, we can see the answer in new online learning schools following Covid-19. Even homeschool and completely online learning students still have a teacher to help facilitate and monitor student progress and success in different forms and fashions.
Finally, changing the conversation to HOW technology can support teachers rather than replace them will help promote long-term modern technology implementation is schools.
Does PLT4M provide professional development training for using technology in physical education?
What type of schools utilize PLT4M?
Every type of school you can imagine! From rural, suburban to urban schools. Public, private or charter schools. Big, medium, or small schools. PLT4M is utilized in over 1,000 schools across the country.