Do we even need teachers? Dr. Ellington wrote this question on the board, and my first reaction was a resounding yes. Aside from the fact that I’m now in college to be a teacher and the idea of wasting so much money makes me cringe, I can’t help but feel that teachers are pivotal to the education process. I cannot speak for everyone, but I have such a passion to be a teacher because I have had a handful of educators change my life for the better. If I toss my sentiments out of the equation, I am still left with the conclusion that I gained something from all of my teachers.
From the best teachers I gained social skills and study skills that are very valuable to me now. I learned critical thinking. I was pressed, I was pulled, I was bent, and I grew. I learned to be confident in my own abilities, and I was shown how to further refine them. I know everything you could ever want to know about Colonial America and I can correct a comma splice. Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn how to hold my tongue in the face of a difficult teacher. I’ve learned to find my own resources and information when my teacher has not done an adequate job of explaining and teaching. Good or bad, I have learned.
I have taken online classes, and I have taken in classes in person. Three of my best friends are home-schooled. To me, I have learned best in class with a teacher. I like to be taught, I love getting the information directly from a person. The internet is a source to build upon that foundation. Sure I could have learned all of the information I have now from a computer, but I feel more confident when I have a face I can thank and question.
Does the internet have a place in education? Absolutely! Computers and technology are amazing tools to success in education. They are a way to elevate learning. Students can explore for their own with information at their fingertips. They can take part in the “deep learning” that is so instrumental. They need to be shown and taught these tools. Students need to be pushed and pulled to expand their comfort zones. Teachers and technology go hand in hand to maximize learning. It cannot be one or the other; it must be both.