This is the digital age and one where the Internet of things or IOT holds sway, so naturally, this question is bound to come up more often than usual especially when you take into account the fact that there are less skilled teachers available today to teach young students. We have indeed come a long way in the last two to three decades as far as computing goes and even though we have virtual classrooms linking up teachers with students across the world, we are not yet in a position to claim that computers can replace teachers – read on to know more.
Intuitive reasoning: Despite the various advances in the field of computing and especially in the field of artificial intelligence, computers are not yet equal to the task of replacing human teachers. Teachers often use intuitive reasoning to streamline their teaching abilities. By doing so, they can ensure that the students are able to comprehend the course materials and develop new skills within a short time frame. A good teacher is often able to analyze and gauge his students’ abilities and is able to communicate key ideas and suggestions effectively. Whereas, with an online course, all that we can access is basic information, without the emotional component that we may get with a real class and with a real teacher.
Efficiency: The early school years play a pivotal role in our development and help shape us to be the adults that we are today. It can be argued that a teacher often provides us with an emotional context to any course material so as to enable us to relate to it and to understand it better. On the contrary, all that we can expect with an online course are a set of podcasts or pdf files with instructions already preloaded into the same. So on a scale of one to ten, a regular human teacher definitely tops a computer, for all the right reasons.
Confidence: Often at times, when faced with key challenges we may lack the requisite confidence in our own abilities. It is at times like this that it becomes apparent as to why human teachers are far preferable to computers; teachers can help us develop a better sense of self-esteem and confidence in oneself. Most teachers often enjoin their students to take part in several workshops that are designed to help us develop key skills as well as confidence in our own abilities. This, in turn, should help us to become more focused and competitive, as a result.
Motivation: Motivation is what we all need and at various points in the course of our life, we would need a heavy dose of the same so as to be able to pick up the pieces and move ahead. Sadly, AI is not yet up to the task and computers cannot motivate anyone or leave alone, give you a pat on the shoulder. Whereas regular teachers often resort to praising their talented students to give them the recognition that they have worked for. This, in turn, can help motivate them to do even better the next time around. Moreover, the same teachers can help encourage the weaker section of the class and motivate them to do better by providing them with helpful tips and encouragement. An online class, on the other hand, has little to offer other than class modules and tests.
Cost: Even though we do live in a digital age, the cost of developing an AI capable of resembling a human teacher in nearly every aspect is still some time away. At the moment, the cost associated with research and development in AI can be prohibitive which is why it makes more sense for a school to hire a regular teacher rather than use online training modules to help teach their students.
Also read: Essay on Technology and Humans
These are some of the reasons why there would still be human teachers around despite the various advances we have made in the field of artificial intelligence or AI. The fact remains that we all require the pat on our backs from our teachers as well as those words of encouragement to help motivate us to do better, which we are not going to get with an online training module.