November 17, 2015

Is It Time To Replace Teachers With Technology?

By admin

I’m done.  I’m fed up.  I’ve had enough.

Yes, there are bigger problems in the world, but if our planet has a future, education has to be a critical cornerstone for its survival.

We have to declare a war on ignorance.

Good education is a vital first step.

In Ontario, elementary teachers have been the on a ‘work to rule’ campaign (using ‘work’ loosely here, as most teachers aren’t working at all) for basically a year.  I’ve witnessed a much lengthier dedication to laziness, but I’ll keep that out for now.

I used to be on their side.  I cared about teachers.  I’d suggest that they have to take care of our kids while the rest of us are out earning incomes.

Now, it just seems like we’re toiling away earning their very posh and lush salaries, extended vacation breaks, ‘PD days’, sick leave, pensions and other benefits that are the envy of the vast majority of the world.

In other words, we work so they don’t have to.

So, in my view, public school teaching as we know it should come to an end.

I live in Ontario and I’m a parent of one child.  He’s made it to Grade 6 with us asking a few questions, but now that he’s almost through the elementary program, so am I.

I am asking the questions now, starting with the most basic:  ‘why can’t I expect a decent education for my child?’

I am fed up with the attitude of teachers.  Kathleen Wynne is right to hold the line with teachers and not cave to their demands for even more from the Ontario public.

I think we should go a step further:  let’s start replacing teachers with technology and move Ontario into the future.

Some good old competition would smarten these people up and finally force them to accept that they can’t keep using our kids as weapons in their war against good financial management.

Our kids have already grown up with screens.  Why should their classrooms be any different?

I propose that we use a publicly-owned broadcaster (eg. TVO) and convert part of it to a massive recording studio for class curricula.  All recordings would be available to all parents, available for online discussion and chat, sample tests, feedback and student participation, private or public.

The recordings would be slick, entertaining and top-dollar.  They could include celebrities, animation and interactive game elements instead of photocopied pages from 1970s manuals on how to bore your students.

Imagine a mashup of a MOOC and Facebook.

And then, we kick it up another notch by firing the lot of the teachers and replacing them with younger apprentices or tutorial assistants that are fulfilling part of their university education at a fraction of the cost as part of class supervision.

Imagine the billions in savings we’d have EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  We’d be the wealthiest jurisdiction in the world and our kids would be all the better for it.