Education: Technology will not replace Teachers.

This is really part II of, Education: School choice is here to stay. As I discussed in that article, the voucher system of school choice is on the path to dismantle public education. In Philadelphia, charter schools have already taken 30% of the student body with another 20% expected to go. That would leave public school with the task of shrinking the number of outdated facilities and teaching staff.

Cyber charter schools implemented an attempt to replace elements of teaching with technology. Why? Teacher salaries are a huge expense in education. Public school teacher salaries are governed by the union, where non-public schools do not have this governance. In addition, cyber charter schools do not have brick and mortar expenses. Reducing facility costs is a more profitable model for ANY business. As a result, education became a profitable business model. It is having the assumption that education is only about learning. Learning would be similar to the scene in The Matrix where an hard drive is taken from one machine, plugged into an adapter and loaded into a human hard drive called the brain. That limited incorrect view of education is an EPIC failure. I have students in public, private and cyber-charter schools so I can see the difference.

I will start with my own story. In 9th grade (or 6th — 8th because I can’t remember), I had a computer science class. My grade in the class was a dismal D. One day, as I was leaving the class the teacher looked me dead in my eyes and said “Nicole, you can do better.” My teacher told me I could do better. Guess what? I did. He encouraged my blessing of logic which turned into a 20 year career in Information Technology. The logic of IT has now hit the sore spot of education in Philadelphia (#theirony Philadelphia has the oldest university in the United States)

The article, “Technology cannot replace a teacher IF…” wrote “Technology can never replace a teacher who knows and relates to every child as an individual and helps them find their strengths. Technology can never replace a teacher who encourages students in design thinking to {build] unique projects. Technology can never replace a teacher who helps kids do things that matter in the world. Technology can never replace a teacher who teaches with a flourish, encourages with a smile, and busts routine with powerful learning experiences. Technology can never replace a teacher who helps students do new, novel things to create and invent. Technology can never replace a teacher who looks kids in the eye, understands their heartache, and flips that kid!”

So what is a TEACHER? wrote “Teachers impart students with life skills, valuable life lessons and inspire them to reach their potential. A teacher is so much more than a facilitator: they are also a guide and a mentor.”

A teacher is a mentor where technology does not have the social-emotional response to MENTOR students. Grades are NOT the outcome of student performance (see Grades do not matter — Grades are the outcome of social-emotional responses inputted to students over TIME. That is WHY we MUST label are students as smart from day 1 (or kindergarten). I was labeled as smart and provided the best teachers to honor the label. When we label students “other than smart” they are giving diminishing returns (less resources) to honor the “not so smart” label. That means we do NOT provide the same level of resources for all students.

The article, continues, “As Vivienne Collinson points out in a study for the College of Education at Michigan State University, “Computers do not teach children to question, to discriminate among sources of information, to weigh perspectives, to think about consequences, to bring contextual meaning to a situation, to be creative, or to make careful judgments.” Without a great teacher, technology merely becomes an automated tool and stops inspiring and engaging students. Ultimately, it isn’t about teachers being replaced by technology but how teachers can adapt to incorporate technology in their lessons.”

School choice is here to stay. This is one parent trying to educate a community on the pros and cons of educational options. #choicesmatter

Originally published at