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Wednesday
Sep052018

Teachers who can be replaced by computers, should be

I remember 1981.

I was a 1/2 time language arts teacher and a 1/2 time librarian for a 150 student junior high in rural Iowa. And 1981 was the year I got my first computer in the library - an Apple II. I used it with (as memory serves), AppleWriter and the MECC Gradebook. The principal used VisiCalc to calculate teacher salary proposals during teacher negotiations. The kids played Oregon Trail, Lemonade Stand, and Eamon after school. An inauspicious beginning to a career dominated by technology.

Professor Smith's prediction in the article above that computers in the classroom would kill literacy has not come true. His prediction that computers would replace teachers has not come true. (Although I still like to say that teachers who can be replaced by computers, should be.)

Today the same Cassandra-like warnings can be heard about computerized learning systems and AI and robots. I'd say the same thing: if what you do can be done by any one of these technologies, they should replace you.

As an educator, you are hired for your judgement, your passion, and especially your compassion.

Have a happy start to the new school year.

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