Can computers take the place of teachers? –

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Can computers take the place of teachers? –

By Sugata Mitra, Special to CNN
September 26, 2010 11:48 a.m. EDT

Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer deserves to be.

This is a rewording by David Thornburg of the original Arthur C Clarke quote (“Teachers that can be replaced by a machine should be.”)  It’s pretty good though.

If a teacher feels threatened by a computer – then that teacher really needs to take a good hard look at what and how they are teaching. being afraid of a computer is OK. No. Wait. That’s not OK either.

Come on. I mean really. Computers have been around for a while now – it’s time to stop viewing them as new-fangled anything and start treating them as tools. We don’t treat pencils and books that way (although it’s an interesting thought).

We are rapidly approaching the point where people who don’t know how to read and send email, look at things on the web (and even find some of them), and do basic word-processing are about as far out of touch with society as people who couldn’t read in the 1950’s.

Computers can not take the place of a GOOD teacher, but they sure can make great tools for them. They probably can take the place of a bad teacher.

That having been said, I’ll take a mediocre teacher that lets their students use the computer over a mediocre teacher who doesn’t ANY DAY.

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Can computers take the place of teachers? – — 2 Comments

  1. “Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer…should be.” – Arthur C Clarke

    It should be remembered that Clarke first said that in 1980. In 1980 an IBM 3033 mainframe cost THREE MILLION DOLLARS. It only took 32 megabytes of RAM. Disk storage came in 100 megabyte disk packs about the size of 4 loaves of bread.

    Now a $200 tablet has a gigabyte of RAM and can take 32 gigabytes of storage. So is the issue more a matter of which children do not need teachers for which subjects if we can develop the right software. But I have not seen any teachers pushing this:

    I would have loved that in 7th grade.

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