Can Modern Technologies Replace Teachers Essay Example
Technology has been invading classrooms in our nation and many have opinions on whether they are for or against the use of technology in schools. Clifford Stoll the author of “Makes Learning Fun” declares that technology is unable to teach students sufficiently and overtakes teachers in teaching which results in incompetence. Stoll states that technology ruins teacher and student relationships because it does not allow teachers to do the teaching but technology. On the contrary, Don Tapscott the author of “From Learning as Torture to Learning as Fun” praises technology with successful projects that were done through computers plus taught students valuable skills. Also, Tapscott admires technology for its ability to teach students tremendously rather than a teacher; a teacher acts as a supervisor whereas classmates are the primary reference, other than technology, for a student’s learning.
These arguments contradict each other with contrasting views considering Stoll’s negative outlook on technology in the classroom and Tapscott’s positive view on technology. The authors Clifford Stoll and Don Tapscott both make great claims about technology in the classroom, but Stoll, the author of “Makes Learning Fun”, makes excellent points about technology because he clearly illustrates examples with two sides of his argument whereas Tapscott, the author of “From Learning as Torture to Learning as Fun” provides informative experiments that show one side to his argument and does not talk about an opposing side.
Both articles by Clifford Stoll and Don Tapscott make great claims about computers in education, but Stoll applies opposing views in his argument while Tapscott involves stories about experiments that were successful. Stoll makes this point, “Learning will be more of a video game than a lesson. Technology makes learning fun. Just one problem. It's a lie. Most learning isn't fun.” The quote directly states an opposing view and Stoll bases his belief with facts later on in his article.
However, Tapscott includes situations where students are allowed to use computers to do their projects with little help from the teacher that result in success, nevertheless, does not include a contrary side to create an argument. There are two examples Tapscott includes, the “saltwater fish” for 6th graders and the “Web page” from the Emerging Technologies program for grades ten through twelve. Both of these experiments Tapscott includes are successful and show how a change in education will make every student thrive, but why does the author leave out an opposing view? Why does he only include positive stories that result in future victories as the author writes, “Not only will they do something far more creative than you can imagine, they will probably break new ground while doing so"? An opposing view makes an argument believable and can change someone’s mind. For example, when someone is arguing and does not have evidence to why they are correct from their side and the opposing side, they will not win the argument. As a result, Stoll is definitely able to win any argument since he includes contrary sides in his article with evidence, but Tapscott simply has achievement stories and they cannot convince anything.
A point both articles bring up is the role of the teacher in the classroom utilizing technology and their relationship with the students. It is becoming difficult for teachers to teach students and incorporate interaction into lessons with their students because technology has overtaken the ability for teachers to have one on one relationship with their students inside the classroom. Stoll argues that technology defeats the sole purpose of a teacher being a teacher because a teacher is made to teach students not supervise students using computers. Stoll states “...teachers who act more like coaches than instructors.” He describes a teacher’s role where technology is present, how it reduces a teacher’s purpose in a classroom and decreases communication with their students because most work is done through computers.
For example, when I was in high school, I had an English test I took online that included multiple choice answers and it did not give me a score at the end, rather my teacher told me. Later I had to take it again to see if I improved through in-class lecture, but I was never told what I got wrong and was not able to learn from the first test. My teacher taught all students as one rather than individuals and how could we learn from our own mistakes when we are taught as if a team by a coach instead of an instructor? Also, this breaks interaction with students and teachers as Stoll states, “Doubtless, even the worst teacher is more versatile and adaptable than the finest computer program.” This proves technology needs to be paired with a teacher rather than allow technology to teach everything.
On the other hand, Tapscott claims that a teacher is better off being a “facilitator” and this means a teacher becomes a coordinator for group projects rather than teaching students individually. Tapscott writes “Questions should be addressed to others in their team or to the others in the class, not the teacher” and “The teacher acts as a resource and consultant to the teams.” Unlike Stoll, Tapscott explains a teacher’s role as an overseer rather than a teacher who teaches. A time in high school, I worked on a project using a computer, the teacher operated as a “facilitator” rather than a teacher and when I needed help I had to ask a classmate because the teacher only served to answer some questions or give some advice.
The project did not benefit me because, at the end of the project, I learned how to follow directions from a computer and accomplish the assignment instead of understanding the material I was supposed to learn. Furthermore, Tapscott includes technology as an amusement tool, therefore students will enjoy learning and succeed, but not all students enjoy learning from computers or sitting in front of them all day, plus students receive limited help from a teacher while utilizing them. However, in Stoll’s article, he mentions “The intention should be enlightenment, not entertainment.” If a school was fun and games then what student could resist it? In reality, technology rarely makes school an entertainment site because learning requires hard work and dedication, not games and multiple choice answers that produce no quality in learning. In continuation, Tapscott’s view of a teacher’s role is diminished through his definition of one, he writes, "’I don't teach. If I teach, who knows what they will learn. Teaching's out.’” All of a sudden a teacher does not teach anymore but patrols their students and communication with the students disappears. At this point, teachers are not needed, but supervisors. As a result, Tapscott points to a teacher as a coordinator while Stoll states the importance of a teacher teaching with interaction from students.
In summary, both articles provide good examples and analysis of technology in the classroom, but Tapscott’s argument is incomplete because of the absence of an opposing side in his article, whereas Stoll provides two sides to his argument. If technology is only good like Tapscott proclaims, then why does Stoll include a contrary side? Technology existing all around a classroom will result in questioning why a teacher needs to be present. Replacing a [email protected] with technology will destroy the unique reason for a teacher functioning as a teacher. As a final result, technology needs to have limits in the classroom and allow the teacher to be the main source for student’s education in order for a classroom to be balanced so students would not only crave entertainment but welcome other learning methods.
Tapscott, Don. “From Learning as Torture to Learning as Fun.” Marci Selva. English Writing 300. Course home page. January 2019-May 2019. Dept. of English, Sacramento City College. Web. 19 March 2019.
Stoll, Clifford. “Makes Learning Fun.” Marci Selva. English Writing 300. Course home page. January 2019-May 2019. Dept. of English, Sacramento City College. Web. 19 March 2019.