Monday, February 15, 2016

Need for Educators

                     This past summer I was able to attend the REMAST summer conference. I was so grateful for the experience because I was introduced to so many new ideas, both good and bad. One that truly stuck out to me was the new idea of having virtual teachers in a classroom, while a monitor supervises. The idea can be considered both bad and good. Some think this is an amazing new way of using technology and reaching out to students all over the state. While others think this is a sad new way of going about educating our students in South Dakota. After learning about this new idea, that some schools are considering, it made my desire to become an educator really prosper.
                At the conference we were shown the new big idea that is going into school systems. An IPad which is hooked to a stand, has the ability to roll around a classroom and communicate with students over a webcam. It is a 21st century robot in my eyes. This new robot is taking the place of an educator in the actual classroom. Students will be presented a power-point or an online version of a lesson. The robot will roam around the classroom presenting the online lesson. To make sure students stay in order and pay attention during the class, a monitor will be assigned to supervise the classroom. This idea is nice for those schools that have a hard time bringing in educators. It allows students to learn material from a professional in a certain content, rather than material from an educator who has to teach several different contents. This way students have an opportunity to learn the same way students from other schools do.
                The downfall to this idea is that it completely takes away one of the most important concepts of education; teacher/student interaction. Not having the actual educator present at the school, students don’t have the ability to go up and ask the teacher for help. In middle school and high school, I remember having a strong relationship with my math educators and going to them frequently for help with a certain topic. I couldn’t imagine not having that ability to do so. This is also hard for the students who sometimes need a little bit more from a teacher, and an extra push to do well. If students don’t have a relationship with their teacher, they won’t be as driven to be successful in their classroom. The thing that I’m most excited for while becoming an educator is the idea of being able to reach out and help those students who do need an extra push. If those students are successful, then I will know I did something right and will have made a difference for that child.
                Thinking about having robots as the new generation of teachers scares me. It should be a frightful thing for most people, especially those who have children. I know I would want my children to have the best experience in school, and to gain relationships with their teachers. I would not be thrilled to know my child was being taught by an IPad rolling around a classroom. The need for educators in our state is sky-rocketing, which is resulting in new ideas such as this. I hope many more people take into consideration about becoming an educator.