Can Technology Really Replace Teachers?
In the past few years humans have made incredible strides in science. Inventions like the laptop, notebook and iPad have proven our ingenuity and ability to reach and surpass limitations. The World Wide Web ensures that we remain instantly connected to the most recent information at any time and at lightning speeds. This availability of constant data has made us increasingly reliant technology. We expect to see new and improved methods that will allow us to sustain our current level of interactivity and expand beyond. We use technological devices to keep us updated with our friends and families, conduct business deals and even drive our cars. It’s in the way we live our lives everyday and has provided us with a wealth of knowledge.
Everywhere you turn, you see a new technological breakthrough that has been designed to make our lives easier and more convenient. Touch screen technology is the most recent. It has become so popular that you can even experience it in common, everyday places like fast food restaurants and financial institutions. Yet where do we draw the line on technology? When do we decide to take the reins back and remove the auto-pilot?
A major concern regarding the direction technology is moving surrounds the educational field. Many scientists applaud the use of computer technology when it utilized to increase skills, but are concerned with the very real possibility that automation may soon replace behaviors that should be the result of human interaction. This is especially true with children under the age of one year old. Studies have shown that while the infants will become interested in a television screen or computer monitor, they cannot interact with an inanimate object and doing so reduces their ability to learn. Although this does not always apply to children past the age of one, it does paint a very vivid picture of how important the development process is and how a young child can be affected.
One educators forum, has discussed this topic in depth and the consensus seems to be the same. While all commenters on the site strongly believe that technology is definitely something that will propel us into the future, it cannot replace human interaction. A good example is what happens during a child’s formative years. During this time of a child’s life, they are changing and growing at an alarming rate. As a result, it is essential for them to have positive influences that will help to shape them into responsible adults. A computer does not have this capability. It does not have human emotions and cannot assess when a child needs attention on an emotional level. It cannot proactively avert a crisis. Children require outlets to express themselves and need to be able to communicate with someone on which they can rely.
Other forums, believe firmly that technology should be used more as a tool and resource for teachers. These educators encourage the use of tools like BlackBoard to help manage online courses, and believe programs such as Rosetta Stone are a great way to supplement a foreign language education. While such programs are useful these teachers go to explain aren’t concerned about being pushed out by the programs because they can’t replace real-life experience, which is crucial in guiding students in the right direction.
Still others believe that real teachers are necessary because unlike technology, human beings never breakdown. Technological advances are only worthwhile if they work. On occasions when the Internet is down, causing e-mail and other computer programs to be inaccessible, it becomes painfully obvious that humans are not entirely replaceable.
Although technology may not be able to replace teachers, technology can be an enormous resource. By utilizing new technological advances, teachers can ind new and exciting ways to educate their students. It is a teacher’s obligation to prepare their students for the world and what lies ahead. Thus, incorporating computer-based programs into their curriculum will provide students with a solid technological foundation, allowing them to be well on their way to a bright future.
Lindsey Wright Bio:
Lindsey Wright is fascinated with the potential of emerging educational technologies, particularly online classes, to transform the landscape of learning. She writes about web-based learning, electronic and mobile learning, and the possible future of education.]]>
Its a definite must read for anyone interested in game development, or for any gamer who wonders why a game studio and can produce product of such poor standard. Great writing Julian!
At its core, the book is about a framework for analysing (and indeed designing) games. Dillon, incorporates 6 emotions and 11 instincts into the "6-11 framework" and identifies the relationship between them. He then deconstructs the emotional aspects of a gameplay session as consisting of three phases.
Dillon also contextualizes the 6-11 framework with other work in the field, notably the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics) framework, Nicole Lazzaro's "Four Fun Keys", David Freeman's "Emotioneering™" and Katherine Isbister's "Better Game Characters by Design". Most prevalent is the relationship between MDA and 6-11 which relates the aesthetics (emotions and instincts) to the dynamics (player behaviour) and ultimately to the mechanics (core rules).
He adopts a visual approach for his analysis, which I found quite helpful. Using diagrams Dillon identifies and relates aesthetics, mechanics and dynamics that provides insight for both analysis and design alike. For me, this diagrammatic approach makes the framework both accessible and powerful.
Overall, I found this book providing some good insights into game analysis and design at a fundamentally emotional level.]]>
You’ll find pet hates such as poor signposting, unskippable cutscenes, and mandatory tutorials among others.
Head over to Edge and check out the full list at http://bit.ly/eIlCk0
However, it’s a rare adult who genuinely enjoys activities designed to amuse four-year-olds. Tea parties? Puzzles? Fairies? Lego? Trains? Ugh.
And then later goes on to say:
Let’s be clear: I love spending time with my kids. I love talking with them and pottering with them and baking with them. I love watching them play. I just don’t want to play with them.
And while Freedman is known for her comedic style, there was still part of me that found an element of sadness in what she was saying. What was also surprising was that when Freedman polled other mothers, albeit unscientifically, they shared her views.
Personally, I play, in some way, every day. I play with my kids, I play with others. We play Lego, dress ups, sports, board games, video games, free play… you name it. I can’t imagine not playing, or a world without play. Maybe its Freedman’s concept of play that’s the issue. While she mightn’t enjoy or participate in “childs play”, then surely she’s involved in some form of playful activities as an adult? Surely?
To me, the idea that someone has lost the ability to play, in any form, is both as confronting as it is inconvceivable. Yet last year, I found myself in a situation where someone did express exactly that; they no longer participated in any form of play. It was at a workshop by Dr. Stuart Brown — who I also had the pleasure of meeting personally — author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.
A woman participant described how she had lost the ability to play, and wanted to rekindle it. The experience brought home to me, that there are people who have indeed lost the ability to play, and also how much play is important and powerful force in our lives… including our adult lives.
One of the statements Dr Brown said that day which I find profoundly powerful originally came from Brian Sutton-Smith who said:
“The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.”
For me that suggests that we all should take time out to play, and keep in mind that a little play is a powerful thing. Who knows, maybe even Mia might become more playful
Mia Feeedman’s SMH Article: No Time for Games
Dr. Stuart Brown’s book on Play is available from Amazon.com