“A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be.”
~ Sir Arthur C. Clarke
The accessibility of education must be a primary focus of all educators, for education is worthless if it is not shared and applied in a way that allows all of us to work together to make life not only livable, but enjoyable, enriching and prosperous.
During his talk at the Lift Conference in Geneva, Sugata Mitra discusses the implications of the remoteness of education as it relates to primary education. He puts forth the following questions:
Is it true that the more remote the school, the lower the quality of education?
Where is educational technology better suited at this stage of its integration – remote areas or urban centers?
Can technology alter the acquisition of values?
Can education be self-organizing?
Mitra found that the motivation of teachers was directly correlated to the quality of educational delivery. This brings us back again to the foundation of Teacher as Inspire-or. If you do not derive joy from your work, if you do not believe in what you are asked to teach, if you do not see the possibility inherent in the passing on of information and the support of the cultivation of knowledge, how can you teach anything?
If you are told by your Department Head that you must start using technology in the classroom because your faculty is falling behind in the polls, in the rankings, in the ratings (or in whatever popularity contest you participate for the sake of funding and politics) but you do not believe in the connecting power of technology, how can you inspire its use?
Is educational technology really ‘over-hyped’ and ‘under-performing’? Can we really come to that conclusion if we haven’t really given it a chance? How many teachers who have been asked to begin working with educational technology (and educational technologists) have really given it (and them) a chance? How many have considered the student ‘s perspective when coming to their premature conclusions? How many have acted out of fear?
There is something to be said for walking through life with a child-like innocence. It allows one to look through the eyes of an open, curious and light-hearted perceiver. It allows one to make choices from a place of flexibility, acceptance and promise. How many teachers do you know who teach from a place of fear and ego? How many do you know who inspire?
“We need a faster processor and a better mouse.”
The Hole in the Wall Project – a phenomenal example of the spirit of humanity. How could you not want to help inspire?