Can a profession, like teaching, heavy on human connect, be replaced with technology?

The teacher forms an important connect between the school, all that it contains, the education imparted and the learner – indeed, an important responsibility. However, with intense competition, accelerating workload, increasing time constraints, and never-ending responsibilities, the task of a teacher has become a rather tough one. Notwithstanding these challenges, each teacher tries his/her best to impart quality education; to the aid of these important ‘ambassadors’ of learning comes, at times, new-age technology – not with the aim to replace, mind you, but with the aim to help catalyse improved teaching-learning experiences.

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Learning within the school is one aspect; how nice would it be, though, if one could ensure a steady, seamless virtual connect with the learnt matter, anywhere and anytime; a catalyst to ignite young minds to explore, discover and re-discover; learn, unlearn, and relearn; think, analyse and deduce. Some months back, I attended the launch of Geneo; it is almost always mind-boggling to witness how technology is advancing, and how it is transforming mere transmission of knowledge into transformative knowledge; this appenables learning, at one’s own pace, with curriculum–aligned, curated content for classes 8 to 10 (mapped for CBSE, but relevant for other boards too), where need-based help is available from nationwide experts anytime and anywhere; I recalled the time when I used to study in school: how different things were around two decades ago; while emphasizing on the USPs, the presenter also emphasized on how digital textbooks could be personalized by adding notes, highlights and bookmarks, on the simplification of tough science concepts with 3-D models, exploriments, and on how mind-maps could serve as rapid recall tools! As the chance came to practise these features, it was not surprising to see young school kids, perhaps in the age bracket of 14-15 years, demonstrating the use of the app, making it seem like a piece of cake. I was curious to know about ‘what makes the world go round’ component; yes, you guess right: the money component. All this comes surely comes with a cost tag; is it not? Yes, and no; the app has both free and payable content to choose from; besides this, the audience was informed that the Google Cloud Platform, on which the app was based, enables quick retrieval of stored data; an operating band width that ranges from 96 Kbps to 3.6 Mbps, makes accessibility easy. Indeed, the future of learning has, indeed, arrived.

I wonder what’s next. Will humans become dispensable? Can a profession, like teaching, heavy on human connect, be replaced with technology? Technology facilitates and enriches the teaching experience, empowering teachers, and enhancing learning outcomes. Food for thought, is it not?

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