Is Educational Technology More Important Than Teachers?

Summary: Computers are more essential than humans? Profit is more important than people? Apps and Educational Software teach better than any teacher is able to do?

Are Teachers More Important Than Educational Technology?

In 1926, Henry Ford started an 8-hour, 5-day workweek at the same wages as the previous 12-hour 6-day workweek. Ford wanted his factory workers to have time to be with friends and family. "Experts" who said that Ford's actions would bankrupt the American economy turned out to be wrong. For Henry Ford, people were more important than profit.

In 1999, AT&T replaced about a third of its telephone operators with a voice-recognition system that can place collect calls. Apparently, profit is more important than people.

Arthur C. Clark said that teachers who can be replaced by machines should be. In 2013, Kirsten Winkler blogged that Apps and software are starting to replace tutors, especially in the language learning space. It seems tutors are replaceable by software.

Last year, a local charter school with highly paid administrators laid off wonderful teachers who really cared about their students. Why? They wanted to save money to purchase laptop computers and to subscribe to an online learning service filled with promises. When I visited the school this year, none of the remaining teachers knew how to run the program. The students were frustrated by their attempts to log in and complete the assignments. For this school, computers are more important than teachers.

Is Educational Technology more important than Teachers? What will the future of education be like if educational jobs done by teachers, educators, professors are replaced by educational software? Will the wealthy just get richer, the poor have fewer job opportunities, and the middle class disappear?  What do you think?