Will technology based learning kill the jobs of teachers?

Implementation of core banking solution reduced the number of support staff in banks throughout the world, robots in factory shop-floors have made many blue-collar jobs redundant and office automation virtually removed the office secretaries from corporate floors. So, are teachers going to face large scale job losses due to the increasing adoption of virtual learning environments everywhere?

While computerization and automation have resulted in more job losses than new job creations overall, a deeper look into the phenomenon throws some light on what kind of jobs are getting destroyed and why. Forbes lists 21 jobs that are threatened in the near future:

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/lmj45ighg/top-20-disappearing-jobs/#1e1ce65d6589.

Another good report on ‘the future of jobs and skills’ is here:

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FOJ_Executive_Summary_Jobs.pdf.

The teachers are not listed in the Forbes report with expiry dates yet, but are the teachers’ jobs really safe? Yes and No. Let’s hear the bad news first. Not just the jobs of teachers, all jobs that require repetitive activities with minimal use of human intelligence and decision making skills are going to disappear one by one. So the jobs of the teachers who have been reading the text books to their students (yes, this happens in large scale) are in danger. And, by the way, who gobbles up these lost jobs – neither the computers – nor the robots, it is time for good teachers to eat up the jobs of bad teachers. It is Gresham’s law working in the reverse in the context of education. Gresham’s law (in the context of economics) states that bad money drives out good money from circulation. However, in the context of this blog, the good teachers are going to drive out bad teachers out of circulation through the use of technology and to do this, the future good teachers have to be armed with virtual learning tools in their arsenal.

A good teacher is an artist. Art is not a thing, it is a way – so said Elbert Green Hubbard in his book – Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Teachers (1908 volume). A good teacher is one who knows how to help the learner throughout each step of the learning process by anticipating each need that the learner may have. Have you noticed any artist losing job due to computerization or automation anywhere in the world? No. So, if you are a teacher and you want to keep your job safe, learn to be an artist and for that, you may need many of the scientific tools that engineers have created.

(Image: http://www.freepik.com)

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