Why Teachers Cannot Be Replaced by Technology

I spend a good amount of my time speaking with teachers, understanding their concerns, and observing them teach in their classroom. During a focus group with five primary school teachers, one of them said, “Wait, is this going to replace us?”

It’s an important question to ask and one that every teacher should be asking of the technology they are incorporating in their classroom. So, allow us a moment to explain where Lalilo stands on this issue.

My name is Juliette and I am a “Teacher’s Cheerleader” at Lalilo. Lalilo is a software we are developing for K-2 teachers in order to help them differentiate their reading instruction. In other words, Lalilo is a literacy app that teachers can use in their classroom. Lalilo is able to assess thoroughly the level of each student in order to offer each and every one of them exercises that are neither too hard or too easy… so that they can always improve. From the data we get while students learn on Lalilo, we are then able to help teachers in some of their most time-consuming tasks: creation of guided reading groups, creation of activities during their guided reading groups, report cards, etc. Therefore, we become a teacher tool rather than a teacher replacement.

Why Technology Will Empower Educators

Artificial intelligence and other new technologies (with sometimes names which can seem scary) will actually empower teachers and make their lives better. Software in schools have three strengths:

  • They allow for customization in ways that no human can possibly do. Even the most passionate teacher in the world cannot create 30 different exercises on a daily basis for each of their 30 students. A software using adaptive learning can help with that.
  • Flexibility. The world outside is changing at an incredible pace. Software content can simply be refreshed with updated information whenever it is needed. It is, on the contrary, extremely time -and-money-consuming to re-train all the teachers in the country every time a new methodology or new learning strategy arises.
  • Automation. Software can also help teachers with automating some of their most time-consuming tasks: grading, report cards, attendance, grouping, class management… you name it.

In other words, software, when correctly used, can help teachers focus on what really matters: helping students learn. Instead of teaching content the way teachers used to teach our parents, they become learning facilitators.

The One Thing Technology Will Never Be Able to Replace

There is, however, one thing technology will never ever be able to replace: it’s the power of a meaningful relationship needed to help students grow. No machine or software can care about students the way teachers do. No artificial intelligence can create human interaction within a classroom the way teachers orchestrate them. Technology cannot find the right words to give students the confidence they need to grow into great human beings.

Teachers will always be essential in classrooms and in our children’s development.

However, Teachers Should Be Careful When Selecting the Technology They Use

Teachers’ roles will definitely evolve with technology becoming more and more important in education. Technology will empower them. And their role won’t disappear. However, teachers should be careful when choosing which software they use inside their classrooms and take a few new important matters into consideration from now on. Those matters are the following: data privacy, quality of the curriculum used, how well it compliments what teachers are implementing in their classrooms, and most importantly, whether or not students are interacting or mechanically reacting.