- Clayton Christensen Institute Senior Research Fellow Thomas Arnett argues that it's time for a narrative that teachers will be replaced by artificial intelligence to end, calling for a greater focus on technology's ability to help teachers spread their focus and accomplish more.
- Arnett cites RAND research detailing how teachers have the greatest in-school impact on student achievement, noting, however, that it's often impossible for them to meet the needs of every student due to the sheer volume of academic and non-academic tasks they must complete.
- According to Arnett, taking attendance, administering and grading assessments, delivering basic instruction, streamlining lesson planning and tracking student progress can now be offloaded to various tech platforms, allowing more time for teachers to focus on students' individual needs.
Despite the growth of online learning and increasingly complex artificial intelligence, it's highly unlikely that the teaching profession will be taken over by robots anytime soon. The teacher shortages in many states alone should serve as ample indication that the job is in high-demand, though it may need to provide prospective educators with better incentives to enter.
An additionally flawed line of thinking in recent years has seen tech as the solution, working on the assumption that simply placing devices and apps in the hands of "digital native" students will serve as a magic bullet that boosts achievement. Tech is simply a tool, however — a means to an end. And students, digital native or otherwise, still need guidance on how to best utilize that tool to accomplish given tasks. This means placing more focus on skills, such as the ability to think creatively to solve a given problem, or critically discerning whether a source of information is reliable.
As with any new medium, new approaches and skill sets must be considered, and new professional training must be explored to help educators adjust pedagogy accordingly.