Quantcast

Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Technology can't replace humans in the classroom’

Return to article »

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree. Teaching is labor intensive. I have experience teaching at the secondary and junior college levels. The gadgets have their place, but the best education is eyeball to eyeball. Education comes through personal interaction. Everybody who has taught knows what I am talking about.

Gandalf
Salt Lake City, UT

Your comments are right on Prof. Davis. Until Utahns make a greater commitment to public and higher education, until they demonstrate a greater willingness to sacrifice, are students are likely to continue to slowly go downhill in their academic performance.

bradleyc
Layton, UT

I absolutely disagree with you professor.
Having been involved in hundreds of laptop initiatives nationwide the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Students stay in school.
Graduation rates go up.
Things like truancy and violent behaviors and bulking go down dramatically.
Children read more and comprehend more.
Children are able to explore instantly whan curiosity occurs.
I could go on for pages and pages.
The benefits of one to one learning with laptops or iPads far outweigh any cost associated.
Oh..... And by the way, companies will flock to Utsh once this happens.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Is one teacher to 35 students better than one student to one on-line library where answers can be found? At what point is it better for a student to learn HOW to learn independent from the tutelage of a teacher? At what point does a student have mastery enough of the basics that he would move faster if part of his time was spent 1 to 1 with a device that could deliver the information that he needs at the time that he needs it?

All of my grandchildren live in homes with easy access to on-line information. All of them who are at middle-school level have almost unlimited supervised access to computers, iPads or tablet computers. All of them use those devices to augment their course work.

I agree that dropping the child exemption from the state income tax and giving a small fortune to each school independent of oversight is ridiculous, but I also think that requiring a student who wants to learn to sit quietly until he gets his two minutes of attention from the teacher retards his education. Computers are tools. Craftsmen know which tool to use.

1covey
Salt Lake City, UT

Technology is good, but it changes.It all rests on the foundation of teachers; the human element is essential. Many education policies from government and even within the education establishment adversely affect teachers. If policy makers would listen to all teachers, not just some, these impediments could be reduced, greatly, if not entirely. I know of teachers who retire as soon as possible, because of unwise policies.

teachermom6
Northern Utah, UT

As a teacher I love and embrace technology. I would love my students to be able to have a laptop or ipad. With that being said, all of the technology in the world does not replace the care and concern a human being can have for another. We should ONLY invest in this type of technology when we have class sizes under control. To do so otherwise would be like buying a tiara and only having jeans in the closet to wear.

Llew40
Sandy, UT

Is teaching really just glorified babysitting? I have an expired Utah level I teaching license collecting dust because Utah refuses to invest more human teachers in the classroom. Kids don't even notice because they bring their own electronic devices to school to play with during classroom learning time. Utah legislators should really spend more time in the trenches before thinking up these kinds of bills that never solve anything.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

One British guy dropped off computers in several villages without any instruction on how to use or what to do with the computers. The results were fascinating. Those kids demonstrated creativity and learning as they experimented to see what they could get the computer to do. These were kids who often had no electricity in their homes, and did not speak English (the computer was an English computer) . Can you imagine what those kids could accomplish if they had instruction AND technology?

Technology can supplant actual teachers in the classroom, and it does for countless adults. I have often envisioned the State hiring master teachers to broadcast lessons one day a week to the High Schools while each LEA has a teacher on sight to discuss and support students in what is presented. Low cost, high quality instruction and great potential for higher educational gains. This would work best if we only made such things available to the students who wanted to be there.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

I disagree with Mike Richards, which doesn't happen often, and agree with Richard Davis, which happens even less. And, of course,our resident Marxist seems to have fled his marxist idealogy for a moment to support the importance of human interaction to make society better. How ironic! Let me just put it bluntly. Anyone who believes that technology trumps interaction with kids has forgotten something very important. As a teacher I am appalled at the arrogance of power that emanates from those who, for the most part, have insulated themselves from the real world and pitch solutions that,rather than spawn creativity, high expectations, and responsible liberty, short circuit the whole process with quick fix solutions such as an IPad in every student's hands. It is equivalent to putting a gun in every child's hands and saying, "There, self-defense problem solved!" Ipads are great, computers are great, but nothing will ever replace a kind, caring, and knowledgeable teacher, something that is disappearing because of the grand scheme of more technology and a business mentality applied to education. Those in this state that think power and control freaks only reside in Washington D.C. need to pause!

SEY
Sandy, UT

The market will decide the future of education no matter how much proponents of the current system want or try to maintain the status quo. Current and future costs cannot and will not be justifiable for the declining benefits seen.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"The market will decide the future of education no matter how much proponents of the current system want or try to maintain the status quo."

What does this even mean?

What, we will privatize education just as we have our baking system and health care? Boy, that sure has worked out wonderfully....

one old man
Ogden, UT

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes. It's time we put things in perspective and pay them as babysitters!

That's right. Give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning -- that equals 6-1/2 hours).

So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.

However, they only work 180 days a year!

That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year.

What about those with Master's degrees? Pay them minimum wage ($7.75), rounded off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

The average teacher's salary is $50,000.

$50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student -- a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

SEY
Sandy, UT

Maverick: I made no mention of privatization. Live, in-class teachers are gradually pricing themselves out of jobs (thanks mainly to unionization), especially in colleges and universities. It's simply becoming too expensive to support sprawling campuses, arenas and athletic fields and their high-priced coaches. Secondary education is experiencing similar constraints, though on a smaller scale. The current system will eventually fade away and yield to greater implementation of technology, all as a result of market forces. And we'll be better off for it.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

There's a whole lot of opinion with very little fact being posted here. Time to set the records straight.

"The market will decide the future of education no matter how much proponents of the current system want or try to maintain the status quo. Current and future costs cannot and will not be justifiable for the declining benefits seen."

Guess what? Education has kept up with "the market." Look at how liberal arts, social studies, reading/writing, English, PE, home ec, etc have been slashed while the focus has moved to math, science, business, foreign languages, technology, and career readiness! Programs that didn't even exist 5 years ago now receive the bulk of the funding. All in hopes of preparing our youth for whatever "the market" demands.

"Live, in-class teachers are gradually pricing themselves out of jobs "

Really? How much are in-class teachers in Japan and Western European countries earning? Until American teachers make twice as their counterparts rather than half, I don't want to hear any complaining about "pricing themselves out of jobs."

"thanks mainly to unionization"

I'll need some facts and figures to back up these claims.

To Be Continued...

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

"It's simply becoming too expensive to support sprawling campuses, arenas and athletic fields and their high-priced coaches."

Except for the fact that sports make the schools money. And the kids who aren't "in-class" always want to participate. Then their parents complain when they're required to pay the dues just like all the other kids.

"Secondary education is experiencing similar constraints, though on a smaller scale."

Not exactly. Many are having to jack up the tuition because states have slashed their funding to help save their budgets after the 2008 economic disaster.

"The current system will eventually fade away and yield to greater implementation of technology, all as a result of market forces. And we'll be better off for it."

As someone who is working professionally in our state education system, this statement couldn't be further from the truth. All the schools I have taught at have had carts of laptops and Ipads, projectors in every classroom, and writing labs.

Want to know what they've lacked? Desks. Textbooks. Tutors. Spanish/English Translators.

To Be Continued...

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

All the schools have had far more students than desks, textbooks, and gigantic class sizes. How are students to learn when they're sitting on the floor? How are students supposed to make up work when they miss class but do not have textbooks or access at home to your website's notes? How are students supposed to complete assignments if they don't have textbooks to take home?

How are students supposed to learn when 40 others are commanding the teacher's attention?

How are students supposed to learn when they don't speak English?

This is where additional funding is needed.

Nationally? We need to stop nation building and bailing out banks.
Locally? We need to stop prison relocations and frivolous marriage lawsuits and use that money to actually fund education.

An additional $300 million to hire on more tutors and support staff along with basic materials like desks and textbooks would do so much more good than slashing $300 million from this and using it to buy the newest toy from Apple.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Freedom Fighter -- thank you for some absolutely EXCELLENT posts!

freedomingood
provo, Utah

Computers have been beating chess champions for years but, computers can't beat a team of a human using a computer to play chess.

Technology is best used to compliment our abilities, not replace them.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments