The teacher and technology in education

Online learningThe obvious solution to improving cost effectiveness, efficiency, and learning effectiveness is information technology. This however is a new modality that cannot be governed by antiquated rules, or prepared for in the same way as before. More than technology, the most important participant is the teacher, who has to shift from the traditional role of knowledge dispenser to knowledge facilitator. Teaching students to find, analyze, and use information is more important than the information itself. Teachers who are still trapped in the traditional lecture method may be less effective, unless they reinvent themselves as curators instead of being sources of information. Students have access to unlimited resources that even their teachers do not probably know. Finding information is less important than using it.

The world outside is wireless, connected, digital, colorful, and in 3D. A student stepping into a traditional classroom for a three-hour boring lecture would feel like stepping into an ancient cave after a night out in Las Vegas. Teachers should reinvent themselves to become facilitators of collaborative learning, mentors instead of instructors. They should learn to flip the classroom, blend learning, and gamify. School administrators should support faculty development that shifts teacher competencies from lesson plan and syllabus preparation to instructional design, from teaching to facilitating. Schools should provide the resources to reconcile subject matter expertise with educational technology.

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