Teachers Still Matter Most in Digital Age

By Susan Patrick, Amplify Learning website

 Embracing digital learning means appreciating teachers’ permanent, critical role in the classroom.

Technology in the classroom can be a powerful catalyst. But…one thing remains the same: the importance of the teacher in motivating students, customizing instruction,…and managing classrooms that blend digital with live instruction.

Teachers–not tech–will always remain the “gold standard” of quality in education. Technology, in the hands of these great teachers, can empower higher degrees of engagement and equip students with the 21st-century skills they need for success after graduation. Embracing digital learning means appreciating teachers’ permanent and critical role in the classroom, while empowering them to harness the tools that expand their curriculum, and enhance communication with parents, administrators, and individual students.

Great learning for students isn’t a matter of “waiting for superman,” or waiting for technology to become a “silver bullet” for student success. The learning comes from quality teachers who consider high-tech tools— including online books, lessons, and other resources—part of a larger ecosystem of learning in a classroom. Targeted learning—whether one-on-one or in small groups—becomes easier to implement; advanced students stay challenged, and those at risk of falling behind get the remedial help they need….

Technology gives teachers more opportunities to allow their students to go deeper into learning subjects, building their skills in researching, writing, and communicating. And those opportunities extend outside the classroom more easily….

A teacher using digital curriculum and online discussions in a high school history class remarked, “I know my students so much better as I ask them to write essays and respond to other students’ essays with targeted feedback. We use the comments in the online learning space to dig into deeper discussions with our time together in classrooms.”…

We must remember that this world is both high tech and high touch. Students want both high tech for individualization and flexibility and high touch from great teachers. Computers will never replace people,…especially in the education of our youth. The promise of technology to help our teachers catalyze learning is a promise worth investing in, so our teachers can motivate and guide students with the best tools and have even more impact for student success.

Susan Patrick is CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Amplify Learning provides K-12 digital curriculum plus assessment/mobile learning tools to help schools integrate technology in the classroom.


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