Technology Can’t Teach This One Thing…
Technology has been used in teaching and learning. It has been used in many things from helping someone with comprehension. It has also been used to help teachers monitor the students’ progress. However, there is one thing that it is not able to do.
Technology will not be able to help a child to be intrinsically motivated. What that means is that technology can help a child learn but it has yet to help a child want to learn.
As an advisor to some teachers, I have encouraged the use of technology in the classroom. Many have found it to be incredibly useful in getting students interested. However, that enthusiasm quickly wears off. I mean, there are only so many videos on Youtube and so many games to encourage essay writing before they get bored.
This has been an issue faced by many teachers. Technology has been seen as the holy grail in education. Some see it as a way to revolutionize the entire teaching and learning process. It has and can be as well. However, it has its limitations.
So What is Technology Good For?
In general, technology is great for helping with three aspects. The first is administrative duties. Learning management systems make it so that all tasks and items are filed and arranged well. Gone are the days where teachers will be required to keep folders after folders of work.
Second is the use of technology as a tool for gamification. Boring pen and paper tests can be made fun with apps such as Kahoot. Imagine making a game out of an exam, giving you extra marks for answering the questions correctly and quickly.
The third use case is to help make communication easier. It helps parents, teachers, and students communicate. I remember a time when parents had to make an appointment to see a teacher. Now, most just communicate over Whatsapp or Telegram.
Intrinsically Motivating The Students
As beneficial as technology is to the teaching and learning process, it is not sustainable if a teacher is unable to motivate a child intrinsically. In other words, the first goal should be to get the students excited to learn, even without the use of technology. This would eventually lead to students willing to take the initiative to learn.
There are many ways to achieve this. However, one method that I like using for older children is to help them make sense of what they are working towards. Normally, this process involves goal-setting and seeing the consequences to their actions. In addition, the process also involves guiding the children about their bad habits. It is a long process and it takes time but it is one where technology is not as important as having a patient and a good teacher.
As time passes, we may get an AI with the full capabilities of a teacher. However, I think we are still far from that, I believe. It is important to note that despite the advancement of technology, nothing beats sitting down with the students and guiding them personally.